Xin Nian Kuai Le

And that’s “Happy New Year” in Mandarin!  This weekend sees in the Chinese New Year and it’s the Fire Rooster that rules 2017, this year’s sign signifies fidelity and punctuality.  In Chinese astrology each zodiac year is not just associated with an animal sign, but also with one of five elements – gold, wood, water, fire or earth, element sign combinations occur every 60 years.  Traditionally the year of one’s birth sign is said to be the most unlucky year in the 12 year cycle, however if you avoid the colour red, but get involved with the colours gold, brown and yellow you should be just fine!

Being such a cosmopolitan city, the West End of London is buzzing at this time of year where all sorts of celebrations will be taking place.  Sunday is New Year’s Day and things will be kicking off at 11am in Trafalgar Square where there will be speeches, ceremonies, dances, acrobats, martial arts and even some Chinese rock music!  In Shaftsbury Avenue at the Family Stage you’ll find all sorts of family shows and music, and on Charing Cross Road at the Hong Kong stage there will be more celebrations on the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China.  If you’re in the West End this weekend you really must pay a visit to the world famous China Town in Soho, where from 12-6pm you’ll be able to meet all the Chinese zodiac animals and the Lucky Money God (who doesn’t want to meet him/her?).  And of course there will be plenty of tasty festive treats on offer in the many restaurants.  I know it was only a month ago since we celebrated New Year, but who wouldn’t love the opportunity to do it all over again, but this time in the Chinese way!

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