Chinese New Year Festival
Did you know that in Chinese culture the colour red is very lucky, as it is supposed to scare away monsters and bad spirits? This is why around the Chinese New Year in London you will see doors and windows decorated with lucky red symbols and there will be strings of red lanterns across the streets in Chinatown.
The local Chinese population will be honouring their gods and ancestors by having family dinners, giving gifts of money in red envelopes and cleaning their homes to sweep away old bad luck.
2014 sees the start of the Year of the Horse and in London the Chinese New Year celebration is claimed to be the largest one outside of Asia. For the best of the action head straight to Trafalgar Square, probably already on your London tick list, as this is the focus of the main event.
Kicking off the festivities will be the parade from Duncannon Street to Rupert Street. At 10am the start is quite early especially if you want to get a good spot to watch. Try anywhere along Charing Cross Road or Shaftesbury Avenue and you should be in for a top view of dragons and mythical gods. Once the parade has made it back to Trafalgar Square the Dotting of the Eye ceremony takes place where all the dragons and lions will be brought to life.
The atmosphere in Trafalgar Square will be electric and the decorations will liven up the mid-winter London scenery. You will not be stuck for entertainment with more than 100 performances including traditional Chinese dragon and lion acrobatics and live music plus markets and food stalls.
To round off a perfect day there will be a huge firework display, traditionally to frighten off evil spirits, over Trafalgar Square. Wishing you a year of happiness, health and good fortune.