Monday, February 11, 2008

Chinese New Year - 10 February 2008

Chinese New Year parade
The Chinese New Year celebrations in London are the biggest such celebrations outside Asia so, since it promised to be a beautiful day, we decided it was time to see the show.
Chinese New Year paradeChinese New Year parade

Chinese New Year paradeChinese New Year parade

We arrived in plenty of time to secure a front-row spot for the parade but that certainly did not guarantee uninterrupted views. For some reason the press photographers thought they had the right to swan up any old time and stand in front of spectators; parade stewards did likewise, as did a clutch of very ill-mannered Chinese women who pushed through and blocked the view of people who had arrived an hour before them. Nevertheless we had a reasonable view of the passing parade and then set off on another London walk.

Queen's Savoy ChapelThe first stop was the Queen’s Savoy Chapel where the sermon was excellent and included a call for understanding for the Archbishop who had opened a can of worms with his ill-judged comments this week on Sharia law in Britain. I guess a similar call was made from pulpits throughout the land. The Queen’s Chapel is so named because the Queen owns it and is a relatively small building lost among its bigger commercial neighbours. It survived the blitz unscathed and has thus retained its original appeal.

BAFTA; out-backBAFTA; out-front

Moving on we passed through Covent Garden Covent Garden stallwhere preparations were in full swing for the BAFTA Awards ceremony later in the evening. The keen souls were already in place behind the barriers so that they could catch a fleeting glimpse of a celebrity or two in a few hours’ time. (Probably the press would stand in their line of sight too!)

ChinatownBeyond Covent Garden is Chinatown; festooned in lanterns and absolutely crammed with people, to the extent that a one-way pedestrian system was in place to keep the people moving.

Trafalgar SquareWe passed, briefly, through Trafalgar Square where more entertainment had been laid on for the revellers and then discovered another part of London that we had not seen previously around Golden Square. Fireworks

Finally, to finish our Chinese New Year celebrations with a bang, we headed back to Leicester Square for a fireworks display.

The Indie Travel Podcast might give me Lonely Planet books for writing this!


Craig said...

We were in transit and missed it all; arriving early Monday morning!

Funnily enough, Sydney is also claiming the largest Chinese New Year's celebrations outside of Asia.

Murray said...

The Aussies are always bragging!