While many people were busy opening cards from admirers or enjoying romantic meals on Sunday, this year the 14th of February meant something much different to a great many people around the world – as yesterday marked the beginning of the Chinese Year of the Tiger.
It may have been a day of romance and soppy sayings for much of the UK population, but that didn’t stop Chinese New Year celebrations from kicking off in grand style around the UK on Sunday, particularly in Central London. And the good news for those of you who may have been too smitten to notice the opening festivities is that the main events are still to come, with the parade and dances closing the festival in vibrant style on Sunday 21 February.
The main event takes place in the ever-popular Trafalgar Square, where authentic Chinese dancing – complete with dragons and lions – aims to celebrate and represent the entire nation of China, with a mix of modern and traditional acts being carried out by performers from every province of the country.
The celebrations will even spill over to neighbouring Leicester Square and Chinatown, where dazzling fireworks displays on Sunday afternoon will bring in the new year in style!
All of these celebrations are free to take part in, and according to ViewLondon.co.uk the parade attracted more than 50,000 people last year, and will easily do the same this time around. The celebrations of China are also being continued as part of the China in London 2010 festival, for anyone who fancies making the trip to the capital to find out more about China’s unique culture and traditions.
Wherever you go in London next weekend, you’re likely to see something commemorating the Year of the Tiger, like wildlife photography exhibitions at the National Geographic Store on Regent Street and special displays at the Museum in Docklands, near to the city’s original Chinatown of Limehouse.
If you’ve ever wanted to find out more about the vibrant and dazzling traditions of China, why not make it a new year’s resolution to join in with the celebrations while you can?