The Chinese New Year Celebrations in Soho are undoubtedly one of the highspots of London’s cultural calendar, and this year there’s a load of extra stuff (some would say hype) going on ‘cos of the Beijing/London Olympic connection. Last year’s ceremonies were the biggest outside China, and this year’s look set to be even more impressive.
So here’s a special Londonist round up of where to see and what to do….
6th February: kick off time, with pretty lanterns being switched on in Oxford Street;
this also sees the opening of the first of two Chinese photo exhibitions at City Hall;
10th February: the big one – dancers, dragons, presumably rats, an obscene amount of fireworks in Leicester Square, a march, the Dagenham Girls Pipers*, martial arts and drama displays, and Ken, of course (a good Chinese name if we ever heard one). The excitement starts at 11am and goes on ‘til 6pm – and if you’ve never witnessed it, you really must go. Take some photos and you might even end up in China;
13th-14th February – the Beijing Dance, Drama and Opera Company will be performing at Stratford Circus and the British Museum; might be a good alternative for those boycotting VD;
14th-16th February – Beijing Modern Dance Company at the Linford Theatre, ROH;
30th March – Zimmers – a bunch of talented oriental sexagenarians going through their moves – this at the Queens Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue (tel: 020 7292 1350);
6th April – the torch processes through London. Yeah, that torch.
You should also look out for a season of Chinese films which are being shown in partnership with the BFI, and a Rat Variety Show, which is at various venues and sounds the biz as it’s got those cool Chinese shadow puppets.
Happy New Year!
PS As Londonist was born in 2005, we are Roosters. Which means that we are very clever at blogging and work very hard. Amongst other things.
*We might have been telling sweet and sour porkies about this one.
Piccie courtesy of bg_os’s flickr photo stream.