Today was a myriad of celebrations for the Chinese New Year here in London. Fun fact, London is the second largest (read more here at BBC) Chinese New Years celebration outside of China! The few of us who were capable at venturing out at 8:45 in the morning met our program coordinator Hanna at Leicester Square. We met in front of the William Shakespeare statue which was pretty chill, I hadn’t realized it was surrounded by a fountain until we got there!
The first order of business was to find a prime spot for the parade viewing, we were on Charing Cross road. The parade started in Trafalgar square and ended at the corner of Shaftesbury Ave and Rupert St. My favorite part of the parade was probably the awesome lions and dragons. There were a number of kids at one point with lion heads and that was pretty adorable to see! Another fun part was a young girl leading a dragon manned by adults! One thing we all noticed was that on the parade route there were no barriers, the crowd essentially stood on the route in and covering the street. People repeatedly had to be told to move back, at one point a bus drove through coming within inches of people which was astounding to our group. Back home there would have been barriers and police likely every twenty feet or so we figured!
We next set our sights on the numerous food booths that were along Chinatown’s streets. I had gotten quite a bit of food from Pret before meeting Devon to catch the Tube there so I only got Spring Rolls which were soo yummy! The crows were interesting might I add. When Devon and I first got to the area it was seemingly a ghost town but then about 10:30 there were people, everywhere we looked or tried to walk.
While in search of the food sources we happened upon this little cutie, who of course I had to pet. Quite the good looking Shiba Inu! Next on our agenda was Trafalgar Square for the numerous speaches preceding the Dragon’s Eye Dotting Ceremony and the Flying Lion dance and Dragon dance! I was all for the two flying dances as was most everyone else I’m sure! Besides the close ups on the parade route, the flying dances were my favorite part of the day hands down!
The day ended with some grocery shopping, organization of my desk and my half of the room and some homework. I cleared off my desk, put all miscellaneous items away and am quite pleased with how the room looks! I even got some more work done on my essays due Friday! Breakfast was for dinner tonight as I had my usual grilled egg& cheese sandwich and some orange juice. The cold bug has been going around for a few weeks now and I refuse to succumb to it. Happy New Year, Chinese or otherwise!
Can’t wait to post again! Tomorrow is a field trip day to the Imperial War Museum, until then!