This last Sunday, 18th February, thousands of people headed into central London to mark the Year of the Dog and enjoy the spectacular celebrations as the city hosted the largest Chinese New Year Celebrations outside of Asia.
This year’s theme is “Celebrating the Golden Era for UK-China Relations” emphasising the friendship and collaboration between our two nations.
The Year of the Dog is the eleventh of the 12 animals that are in the Chinese zodiac, with dogs symbolising the coming fortune and those who were born in the year of the dog are known to be friendly, sincere, loyal and dependable.
The day kicked off at 10:00am with a two-hour long Grand Parade which featured the largest gathering of over 50 Chinese Dragon and Lion teams performing in front of the crowds through the streets of London starting at Trafalgar Square and ending up in Chinatown.
At midday Trafalgar Square was filled with firecrackers and performances on stage including a Chinese performing troupe and world famous Chinese soprano He Wu as well as traditional dances and some spectacular acrobatics.
London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan said that “Chinese New Year is also a time to celebrate with friends and family, reflect on the past year and look forward to the future. Over the past year, I have enjoyed meeting with members of London’s Chinese community as well as the many Chinese businesses around the capital and hope to visit China during my Mayoralty to strengthen economic and cultural ties with this great nation.”
He goes on the say, “London is open to all people and all communities. That’s why I’m so proud of the Chinese New Year festivities here in the capital, which are the largest of their kind outside of China and entertain hundreds of thousands of Londoners from all communities, as well as visitors to our city.”
And that’s why many restaurants around London are celebrating Chinese New Year with specially prepared menus.
Editorial by Simon Burrell, Editor-in-Chief of Our Man On The Ground and photographs by Pietro Recchia, a London-based photographer specialising in fashion, portraits and luxury events.