Full details released of a fantastic day of activities and events taking place across the capital
The magic of China comes to London’s West End in a breathtaking blaze of colour on Sunday 10th February with the 2013 Chinese New Year celebrations. The festivities, which are the largest outside Asia, offer revellers a feast of Chinese culture, including a gravity defying lion dance, fireworks and a variety of performers from China and the UK to herald the Year of the Snake, which is all about action, change, innovation and achievement.
Following a New Year’s parade around the West End, the celebrations will be officially opened with a traditional Eye Dotting ceremony, taking place at midday in Trafalgar Square. Dignitaries will include the Chinese Ambassador to the UK, Mr. Liu Xiao Ming and Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture Munira Mirza. A dramatic firecracker display will then signal the start of a cultural feast of Chinese music, dance and acrobatics.
First up to perform on the main stage will be acclaimed singer-songwriter, Emmy The Great. The Hong Kong born musician has gained worldwide success following a series of critically acclaimed solo albums and collaborations with other artists including Lightspeed Champion and Noah and the Whale. Tenor mega-star Paul Potts will take to the stage later in the afternoon performing tracks from his albums 'One Chance,' 'Passione' and 'Cinema Paradiso' that have sold over 4 million copies to date. 100 other performers including acrobats, musicians and dancers will also show off their skills on the Trafalgar Square stage, including the world-renowned Chen Brothers’ performing their gravity defying Flying Lion Dance.
Chinatown will also be at the centre of the New Year party. The area will be a hive of activity throughout the day with traditional craft stalls and food stands lining the streets. Special events planned for this year include a weekend of oriental artistry and trickery from Opium Cocktail and Dim Sum Parlour and special culinary tours of the area from cooking maestros the School of Wok.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who is supporting the celebrations, said: “London's Chinese New Year celebrations will be without doubt an early highlight of 2013. Bringing hundreds of thousands of people into central London it is one of the most exuberant and colourful events of the year, with Londoners and visitors alike enjoying acrobats, musicians and performers from the UK and China itself. As we get set for the Year of the Snake, have a wonderful celebration. Kung Hei Fat Choy.”
London's Chinese New Year celebrations are free to attend and family friendly.
The parade will begin in Trafalgar Square and the colourful floats and beating of drums can be followed through Chinatown ending in Rupert Street at 11.00 am.
On the main stage in Trafalgar Square, the Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture Munira Mirza, His Excellence, Liu Xiao Ming and Stanley Tse, President of Chinatown will commence the Dotting of the Eye ceremony, which will bring the dragons and lions to life, marking the start of the day's entertainment.
1 pm - 5.30pm
A performance by critically acclaimed, Hong Kong born, singer songwriter, Emmy The Greatwill herald the start of this cultural bonanza.100 performers will take their place on the Trafalgar Square main stage, including the world-renowned Chen Brothers Flying Lion Dance and variety performers from Guangdong and Sichuan Provinces. Paul Potts will be performing a set between 3:30 - 4 pm.
A stunning fireworks display will mark the end of the day's celebrations.
Chinese New Year is organised by the London Chinatown Chinese Association. For further details about the Chinese New Year celebrations in London please visit lccauk.com & londonchinatown.org.