It was a wet and cold Chinese New Year in London today. Grey the city may be, but Chinatown was awash with the traditional colours of red and gold. The one thing about the rain is that it tends to put people off. That’s not to say it wasn’t busy. It was. Outside of China, London’s Chinese New Year celebrations are the largest.
It’s also a noisy time. Children throw bangers on the ground while the constant thud of drums and cymbals help the lions dance and chase away bad sprits and bring good luck. The Chinese are very superstitious. Before the new year starts, houses must be cleaned from top to bottom. If you clean your house for the first few days of the new year, you’ll sweep away all the new luck.
Chinese New Year is a time for families to get together and eat lots and lots of food, mainly dumplings which is thought top bring prosperity. It’s also a prosperous time for children as they receive ang pows – red enevelopes containing cash – from their relatives. I still do even though I’m a fully grown adult! Red and gold are auspicious colours with red symbolising luck and joy and gold for wealth and prosperity.
So gong hey fat choi to one and all. Happy New Year. I hope the Year of the Goat will be a happy, healthy and prosperous one.
Photos taken on the Panasonic GX7.