Chinese New Year at EDF Energy London Eye
- Monday January 27th 2014
- Press Release
The EDF Energy London Eye will be transformed into a glowing ring of vibrant red colour; Trafalgar Square will host a spectacular stage show; Chinatown will be bustling with Lion Dances; Charing Cross Road will hold a Parade led by the Lucky Money God; Leicester Square will host a number of festive fun stalls, whilst Madame Tussauds will present a special collection of Chinese celebrities for the duration of the festivities. There will be also a season of Chinese films at the British Film Institute.
2014 will be the Year of the Horse, a creature renowned in Chinese legend for its power, grace and reliability. We can therefore hope for a new year wherein countries will have more meaningful cultural exchanges, and people will be rewarded for their hard work.
"London will be the best place in Europe to celebrate the Year of the Horse," says London Mayor Boris Johnson who is backing the festivities. "The horse is an appropriate symbol for what makes our city tick and prosper. It is a powerful yet humble creature, associated with hard work and steadfastness, attributes that London and its population shares and qualities that are vital for our city's future success and prosperity. I had the great honour of hosting a trade mission to China last year and events like the annual New Year celebrations help to underpin the longstanding friendship between our two countries."
The Chinese New Year celebrations in London are organised by the London Chinatown Chinese Association and supported by the Mayor of London and Westminster City Council.
C. T. Tang OBE, President of the association, explained that "With the participation of key attractions, including Chinatown, the celebration in London will be fantastic. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Londoners and visitors descend upon Westminster and the West End, to wish each other "Kung Hei Fat Choi" (or “Happy New Year”). It is symbolic of London's truly cosmopolitan culture, and something to be very proud of."
The festivities begin at 10am, with a New Year's Parade winding through London’s West End, before reaching its final destination in Chinatown. Westminster City Council plays a key role annually in the Chinese New Year celebrations, and Philippa Roe, the Leader of the Council says she is very much looking forward to join the celebration and wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year for 2014.
An opening ceremony officially launches the celebrations in Trafalgar Square, followed by an array of stage performances from performing troupes from China, including acrobatics, traditional dances and a gravity-defying lion dance on high poles. One of the key attractions will be the Little Red Flower Art Troupe’s exquisite variety show, performed by enormously talented group of children from Nanjing, China.
Alongside the festivities in Trafalgar Square, a second stage on Shaftesbury Avenue in Chinatown plays host to performances from a range of local performers and up-and coming talents. The Beijing Young Cultural Ambassadors will also make their London debut with a presentation of Chinese Opera.
Chinatown itself is always at the centre of the New Year party. The area will be a hive of activity, with traditional craft stalls and food stands being set up outside restaurants. You will be able to sample the widest, and most delicious range of Chinese regional cuisine in Europe. A lion dance will be snaking through the throngs of visitors, stopping by restaurants to wish the owners good luck for the coming year.
2014’s Chinese New Year of the Horse celebrations will run from 10am to 6pm, and all are free to attend.