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You don’t need to travel to China to celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Pig – you can do it in style here in London. It makes a lively, colorful event amid the cold days of winter.
Soho has been the home of a busy Chinese community for generations. Located just south of Oxford Street it is where you can always find shops selling exotic ingredients brought over from China as well as a great range of Chinese restaurants providing food from virtually every region of the country. Everywhere you go, you can find evidence of the Chinese influence with pagodas and dragon sculptures, as well as a wonderful Chinese gate on Wardour Street.
London’s Chinese New Year procession is the largest in Europe, and one of the largest outside Asia. Expect color, music, dance and sheer undiluted spectacle. It is vibrant, lively and extremely photogenic.
Starting in Soho, the procession slowly winds its way through the narrow streets until it finally reaches Trafalgar Square. The route passes through Wardour Street and Gerrard Street, before travelling down Shaftesbury Avenue and Charing Cross Road. If you want a good view of the procession passing by, it is wise to arrive early and find a suitable spot as it gets very busy. Although you might have to wait awhile, there will be plenty of other activities taking place within the streets along the processional route including dance and martial arts displays. Finding something to eat and drink will be no problem as there will be lots of street traders out and about. You can also find a good food at any of the restaurants in Kensington London.
Once the procession reaches Trafalgar Square, the fun continues until late into the night. The whole square is taken over by the lively event, with dragon dancers snaking their way around Nelson’s Column and meeting up with flying lion dancers or acrobats. You can even watch some Chinese opera and admire the singers in their colourful robes and masks.
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The climax of the New Year Celebrations is marked by a gigantic firework display all around Trafalgar Square. It is memorable, fun and a wonderful way to spend a weekend in London.
In addition, there are a lot of destinations to stop by while in the capital appear to be uncountable. The Park City Grand Plaza Kensington is definitely a place to stay to check out the majority of the capital’s sites and destinations of great importance.