Kung Hei Fat Choy
The year of the Snake
Today is the Chinese new year and the festivities have been going on all day through out the West End of London. There was a parade that began at Trafalgar square and made its way through the streets with colourful floats to the beats of the many drums.
Chinatown was at the centre of the New Year party with Food and craft stalls lining the streets and a lion dancing snakes throughout the crowds, stopping at restaurants to wish the owners good luck for the coming year. We was lucky to watch one of the lions dancing out side a shop, it was moving from one restaurant to another dancing to the loud drums and stopping outside the front of the shop windows and taking a red envelope that was hanging from above the shop door. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck. The lion dance is thought to bring good luck, there are normally two dancers who have to be very fit as they move around so much, one as the head and one as the body. As the lion moves down the street he dances to drums, cymbals and gongs. He finds the Red envelope out side the shop fronts and eats it.
Chinatown was a blaze or red decorated with lanterns, couplets and paper cutlets, the smell of incense was strong and there were many craft and food stalls to stop and look at.
We saw dragons and lions come to life, we tasted new foods and enjoyed the festivities that Chinatown had to offer.
We missed the parade but what we saw was amazing. There was so much more to see like the watching the firecracker display or listening to Paul Potts singing but it was very cold and wet and the boys had had enough and the need for some hot chocolate and warmth was much-needed.
When we came home we carried on with our own festivities and cracked open a few fortune cookies, apparently I am going fix my relationship by the end of the month, Jak and Joseph are going to settle abroad, daddy likes chocolate and Oliver is going to buy a sports car! I made a lovely Chinese meal of sweet and sour chicken and beef in oyster sauce all served up in take away tubs 🙂