It's Chinese New Year this weekend and we will be saying goodbye to the Year of the Dog and welcoming the Year of the Pig. Pigs are considered lucky animals because all they seem to do is sleep, eat, hang around for a bit then eat some more and then take a nap. They lead carefree, calm and fattening lives, and we could all do with a bit of porcine serenity in our lives. It's a happy, celebratory time of year for the Chinese community and those who want to be Chinese for the party period are more than welcome to take part.
The annual lion dances, dragon dance, a parade and live performances are taking place with as many fireworks, whizzes and bangs as last year: join the crowds at Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and of course, Chinatown on Sunday. Details of the 11.00am parade as well as more information on the Chinatown events can be found here; the most fun to be had is in following all the different lions and dragons as they dance outside different businesses. We did this last year and can still feel the drum beats and cymbals crashing in our ears today.
Check what the Year of the Pig holds for you in the Chinese horoscopes over at our favourite British-Chinese website Dim Sum. Londonist is a Monkey and apparently 2007 will be a far more promising year for business and careers for us, but the prediction that we must "be prepared for travel - you could decide to relocate" is unlikely as this is London and we're not going anywhere.
Surround yourself with the lucky colours red and gold, let off a few fireworks and bangers of your own to scare away any bad spirits lurking, exchange lucky red envelopes of money if you're really wanting to get into the swing of things, eat, drink and be merry with your loved ones. Happy Year of the Pig everybody! Gung Hei Fat Choi!