Ewe’d better believe it! London to stage Chinese New Year festivities and welcome Year of the Sheep

London is set to celebrate the arrival of The Year of the Sheep with one of the ‘biggest celebrations outside of China’.

There will be a small ceremonial event on Saturday February 21 but the Chinese New Year celebrations will really kick off in Chinatown on Sunday.

A traditional parade will take place at 10am followed by a lion and dragon performing a traditional dance in Trafalgar Square at midday.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “London is one of the most exciting places in the world to celebrate Chinese New Year, hosting one of the biggest celebrations outside China.

“This year we are marking the Year of the Sheep, an animal said to symbolise peace and harmonious co-existence.

“In our diverse city, with people from every culture and background living side by side, such qualities make a huge difference in helping to promote a spirit of mutual respect and friendship.”

Chinatown’s restaurants, cafes, shops and bars will be taking over the streets with food and craft stalls while Trafalgar Square will play host to entertainment from the Red Poppy Ladies percussion group and Cultures of China: Festival of Spring.

‘Lucky’ foods, including dumplings, clams, spring rolls and tangerines, will be prominently featured across the festival as a gesture of goodwill to the businesses of the area.

The Chinese Zodiac claims that those born in the Year of the Sheep (1967, 1979, 1991 or 2003) are polite, clever, kind-hearted but indecisive – so make sure you plan the day to avoid being lead astray by those celebrating their Chinese birth year!

Sunday’s highlights:

10am: Parade begins North of Trafalgar Square, ending on Shaftesbury Avenue

12-1pm: Dragon and lion dance performance at the Trafalgar Square stage

12-5pm: Lion dances throughout Chinatown

13:30: Cultures of China – Festival of Spring performance

15:30: Red Poppy Ladies percussions group performance

5pm-6pm: Finale on Trafalgar Square stage

Picture courtesy of Paul Paulo Camera, with thanks

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