Celebrate the Year of the Horse:
The new moon on January 30th/31st begins the Year of the Horse. I rather like what I’m reading about the year to come in Chinese astrology. We can expect fast victories, unexpected adventure and suprising romance. The Year of the Horse should be a fortunate year that brings luck and good things.
In any case, whether or not you believe in Astrology (even selectively like me), Chinese New Year is a chance to celebrate at that point in Winter when we all need a bit of fun. So, if you’d like to find somewhere to celebrate and say ‘Kung Hei Fat Choy, which I thought just meant Happy New Year but which Wiki tells me means “Congratulations and be prosperous, now give me a red envelope!” here are a few ideas:
Of course the first and most obvious thing is to make your way to Chinatown and Trafalgar Square on Sunday 2nd February, when there will be lion teams, local artist, traditional food and craft stalls and a parade that runs from Charing Cross and Shaftesbury Avenue into Trafalgar Square. It’s all free and should provide a great day out for all ages. Visit London has a full schedule on their website and you might consider a stay in London to make the most of what promises to be an excellent day of festivities
But if you can’t make it into central London on Sunday there are more lion dance performances happening around London. Royal China, where I enjoyed a splendid dim sum feast last year, have a whole schedule at their restaurants with events from 31st January through to 7th February at 7.30pm. I’m reliably informed the lions will be roaming around London as follows – and warned that those who want to benefit from good luck for the forthcoming year and watch one of the dances DOES need to book. Check their website for more details.
- Baker Street: 31 January and 3 February 2014
- Canary Wharf: 4 February 2014
- Queensway: 5 February 2014
- Fulham: 6 February 2014
- Harrow on the Hill: 7 February 2014
Then, there’s a rather wonderful sounding feast at The Chinese Cricket Club. A four course menu that includes a special ‘prosperity platter’ filled with snacks to share – each of which has a symbolic meaning to ensure a prosperous new year. I’m intrigued and planning to pop along there tomorrow to find out more! I’ve also been promised that there will be Ang Pow Prizes, those little red envelopes that symbolise good luck and fortune to the Chinese. Oh, and if you are already feeling lucky, all you need to do is tweet a picture of you with a horse to @ChineseCClub between now and 5th February to be in with a chance of winning an exclusive dinner for four, dining vouchers or free drinks. Remember to use #YearoftheHorse and you could have a very fortunate start to the New Year indeed.
Or, for something completely different, on Friday 31 January, Haché will be celebrating Chinese New Year with a difference. If you happen to prefer a burger to egg fried rice, pop along to Shoreditch, Camden, Chelsea or Clapham where you will find the burger joints all dressed-up, Chinese style with traditional Chinese lanterns, complimentary fortune cookies, jasmine tea and rice wine. Alongside their gourmet burgers, Hache are planning to serve up brioche buns filled with shredded duck, cucumber, spring onions and hoi sin sauce.
I wonder what else might be happening for Chinese New Year. Let me know in the comments if you’ve heard of anything fabulous!
Xīn nián hǎo!