Thousands hit London’s streets to welcome Chinese New Year 2015

As one of the main events on London’s international calendar, the celebrations for the Chinese New Year were a huge success and attracted thousands of fans to take in the festivities.

Over the weekend of February 21 and 22, the city put on a whole host of events to bring in the Year of the Sheep, with visitors enjoying the food, entertainment and atmosphere the Chinese communities brought to the weekend long party.

Acting as the focal arena for the celebrations, Trafalgar Square was the hub for the majority of New Year’s events.

The main stage hosted dancers, musicians, acrobats and martial artists over the entire weekend, wowing the crowds with their extraordinary talents while local and up-and-coming acts performed on the second stage at Shaftesbury Avenue.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson featured in the Sunday celebrations during the official opening ceremony.

Chinese New Year 2015 year of the sheep

Taking part in the traditional Dotting of the Eye ritual, Johnson was joined on-stage by representatives from the community and other international dignitaries, who gave speeches on the important of the up-coming Year of the Sheep.

Each year one of the main attractions of the weekend is the annual Chinese New Year Parade, and once again it did not disappoint.

All the streets leading into China Town were lined with visitors taking in the celebrations as the parade weaved its way around the city.

Departing from Duncannon Street thousands of dancers, floats and carefully crafted dragons brought a feel of the oriental to the masses.

It wasn’t just China Town and Trafalgar Square who hosted events, the entire of London become fully engrossed with the celebrations.

Chinese cuisine is one of the most influential food groups on the British restaurant scene, so the city’s eateries became fully involved with the festivities.

The Hutong at the Shard held their very own special celebration so you could see in the New Year from way above the London’s skyline, whilst the Lotus got visitors truly in the party mood with a bash on their top roof.

Revellers could even try their hand at authentic Chinese cooking, as Stratford City Westfield held culinary classes throughout the weekend.

The Casino at the Empire offered visitors an evening of traditional Chinese games and delicacies to nibble on, whereas Gala Casino honoured the old aged tradition of the Hong Boa by handing out red envelopes around China Town to pass luck and prosperity onto by passers.

Both the National Gallery and Maritime Museum held more family-friendly events hosting classic Chinese puppet shows and crafts workshops respectively.

With the celebrations coming to a close for another year, London can held in high esteem for its magnificent parades and events to welcome in the Year of the Sheep, with all those involved looking forward to 2016’s festivities.

Picture courtesy of Paul Paolo Camera, with thanks

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