Rain fails to hamper London celebrating Lunar New Year

Londoners and visitors celebrate Chinese New Year with an annual parade, a speech by London Mayor Sadiq Khan and a lion dance.

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JANUARY 29, 2017) (REUTERS) – Thousands of people turned out in London’s Trafalgar Square despite the rain to take part take in festivities celebrating the Lunar New Year on Sunday (January 29).

The celebrations welcoming the Year of the Rooster started with a colourful Chinese New Year parade that snaked its way from Charing Cross Road to Shaftesbury Avenue.

Under the theme ‘China: Today & Yesterday’, this year’s event went saw dancers dressed as lions, acrobats and floats then parade from Shaftesbury Avenue to Trafalgar Square and a speech by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

One London resident of Chinese origin, Kun Fu, said she was happy that Lunar New Year had become an international festival.

“[I]t is a Chinese thing, but now it has definitely become a festival of all the people around the world,” she said.

Traditional Chinese hand-crafted floats drifted through the streets along with a menagerie of costumes: dancing dragons, lions and a giant rooster, followed by London’s iconic red buses in a convergence of eastern and western culture.

The thanksgiving ceremony in Trafalgar Square was followed by the Lions’ Eye-Dotting, the Flying Lion Dance and Khan’s speech, in which he talked about immigration and thanked the members of Chinese community for their contribution to the city of London.

According to the organisers, the annual London parade is the biggest Chinese New Year celebration outside of Asia.