Chinese New Year celebration for Year of the Snake
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson is backing this Sunday's Chinese New Year celebrations, which will see large crowds heading to central London to welcome the Year of the Snake. The largest outside Asia, the free event attracts Londoners and tourists alike with a lively and colourful showcase of Chinese culture.
London's thriving and long-established Chinese community makes an enormous contribution to the economic and social life of the capital and the Mayor of London is set to visit China later this year to promote London as a place to visit, study and do business in.
The Mayor said today: 'Our Chinese New Year celebrations will be without doubt an early highlight of 2013. The Year of the Snake is about change, but it is also about achievement and innovation - fitting attributes for a city like London. Londoners are resourceful, adaptable and enormously creative, so let's rise to the challenges and create as well as seize opportunities in the year ahead. Kung Hei Fat Choy.'
Trafalgar Square, Shaftesbury Avenue and Chinatown will be at the heart of Sunday's action. Attractions will include the traditional lion dance, music, and acrobats and performers from the UK and China, including Guangdong and Sichuan provinces. There will of course be mouth-watering food to tempt revellers from the many Chinese restaurants in the area.
Amongst the highlights will be two headlining sets by singer-songwriter Emmy the Great. The Hong Kong born, London-based musician, who has worked with the likes of Florence Welch, Lightspeed Champion, Ash and Noah and the Whale, will play live on the main stage in Trafalgar Square.
The festivities will begin at 10am on Sunday 10 February with a parade from Trafalgar Square to Chinatown. The Dotting of the Eye ceremony will take place in Trafalgar Square at midday, in the presence of the Chinese Ambassador to the UK Mr. Liu Xiao Ming, the Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture Munira Mirza and other dignitaries.
Lawrence Cheng of the London Chinatown Chinese Association, which is organising the celebrations, said: 'Chinese New Year is the most important festival for the worldwide Chinese community. It has been celebrated for thousands of years, but nowadays it is welcomed by over a sixth of the world’s population. It is wonderful to witness the celebration of Chinese culture in London. This multi-cultural city sees the largest celebration of Chinese New Year outside Asia.'
London's Chinese New Year celebrations are one of several high profile events the Mayor is supporting throughout the year, including St Patrick's Day, St George's Day and the Russian Maslenitsa Festival.
Notes to editors
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Timings subject to change
Sunday 10 February 2013
Parade begins from Trafalgar Square. The colourful floats and beating of drums can be followed through to Chinatown ending in Rupert Street at 11.30am.
The Dotting of the Eye ceremony will take place in Trafalgar Square in the presence of the Chinese Ambassador to the UK Mr. Liu Xiao Ming, the Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture Munira Mirza and other dignitaries.
Emmy the Great will play the first of two sets on the Trafalgar Square at 1:15pm. She will play a second set at around 5:30pm. 100 other performers are also appearing, including the Chen Brothers Flying Lion Dance and variety performers from Guangdong and Sichuan Provinces. There will also be activities in Shaftesbury Avenue and around Chinatown. Fireworks will mark the end of the day's celebrations.