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GUNG HEY FAT CHOY! Spectacular West End procession set to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Horse

Chinese New Year 2014 Horse. Photo: flickr / mattias (detail)

Chinese New Year 2014 Horse. Photo: flickr / mattias (detail)

Published: 31 January, 2014
>>Click here to read our Chinese New Year 2014 supplement in Pagesuite

A PROCESSION of Oriental culture will roll through the West End on Sunday to celebrate the start of the Chinese Year of the Horse.

Festivities kick off in Trafalgar Square at 10am and the New Year parade, led by the Lucky Money God, will wind its way along Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue before ending up in Chinatown. Horses are believed to be simultaneously powerful and reliable and their characteristics will embody your fortunes in the coming year, which is antici pated to see better exchanges between countries and plentiful rewards for hard workers. 

Once the procession has reached its destination, the party will continue in Trafalgar Square with entertain ments beginning on the main stage at noon.

These will include displays from Chinese acrobatics and traditional dances and the gravity-defying Lion Dance, which is carried out on high poles. 

Later in the day, the Chinese Community Centre, based in Leicester Court, will stage a mini festival in Horse and Dolphin Yard for the day featuring a tombola, a piñata, Chinese calligraphy and live performances featuring Tai Chi, Taekwondo, Chinese classical music, drumming and dancing.

The West End Extra’s special Chinese New Year supplement pulls together a London-based view of Eastern culture and its ever-increasing influence on the Capital. From the dominant forces in Chinese cinema to the role of pandas in international diplomacy.

Take a look at our top iPhone and iPad apps to help you celebrate the new year or read a first-hand account of what Shanghai has to offer the intrepid traveller. 

The Chinese continue to be a major player in many aspects of our life, ranging from an increasingly popular role in the art scene to their involvement in the construction of sections of a high-speed railway through the British countryside.

SCHEDULE

Sunday, February 2
10am

The parade will begin in Trafalgar Square. Led by the Lucky Monkey God, it will wind past Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue before ending up in Chinatown.

Noon

Celebrations begin in Trafalgar Square with an official opening ceremony. The stage will play host to a string of performances from Chinese groups, including acrobats, traditional dances and the gravity-defying Lion Dance, which is carried out on high poles. 

1pm-6pm

A second stage on Shaftesbury Avenue, in Chinatown, will see performances from local and up-and-coming talent. The Beijing Young Cultural Ambassadors will also make their London debut performing a traditional Chinese Opera. Traditional craft stalls and food stands will be set up in Chinatown, where the lion dance will snaking through the throngs of visitors, stopping by restaurants to wish the owners good luck for the coming year. 

Chinese New Year is organised by the London Chinatown Chinese Association. 

For further details about the event visit lccauk.com or londonchinatown.org

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