This London Study Ambassadors event was my first time learning anything about Chinese New Year, so I feel somewhat incompetent to comment on traditional celebrations. However, I did learn that there is a 12-year cycle, with each year being associated with a particular animal, which represents astrological signs. Therefore, 2014 is the “year of the horse,” and people born in the year of the horse are associated with certain personality characteristics. This year the New Year fell on January 31, but the exact New Year’s day varies from year to year. And although I’m not sure exactly how the year is calculated, I understand the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, being determined by both lunar and solar changes.
We had a delicious Chinese lunch at Er Mei restaurant in Chinatown, although I still struggle with eating using chop sticks! From our fellow Chinese bloggers we learned to say “Xin Nian Kuai Le” (Happy New Year). You would have had to hear it aloud to understand pronunciation, since there are tonal differences in certain words.
Somehow I missed out on the parade, but since I was in Chinatown, I took the opportunity to get my favorite Taiwanese bubble tea!
We also watched some Chinese dance and song performances afterward. What I really liked about this event was that it is one of many cultural celebrations happening in London throughout the year and is really reflective of the city’s cultural diversity.