Sunday, December 8News For London

London and China celebrate more than just a cultural interest

London proudly hosts the biggest Chinese New Year’s parade outside China. With a community of 120,000 people, the Chinese have become one of the largest minorities in the capital. Join them celebrating their culture.

Reporter: Cristiana Ferrauti @Cristiana16492

Sub-editor: Jipsa George

Chinese New Year Celebrations 2014 in Trafalgar Square.
Chinese New Year Celebrations 2014 in Trafalgar Square. Photo Credit: John Pannell License

Londoners will join the Chinese community this February to celebrate Chinese New Year on a large and colourful scale. On Sunday, 22. February, dragon and lion dances, and a parade will happen in Chinatown and around Trafalgar Square from 10am on to welcome “The Year of the Goat”. The feast in the British capital is known as the biggest outside Asia.

Chinese New Year, also called the Spring Festival, is the most important celebration in China. Fireworks, parades and stage shows along with many other attractions over London, will bring in the new year with a bang.

Some numbers

“If you walk in a street of London, you will very easily find a lot of Asian faces, among them, I believe, many Chinese faces,” said Mr Miao Deyu, Counsellor of the Press and Public Relations section at the Chinese Embassy.

Infographic can also be viewed here

According to the 2011 Census in the UK, the Chinese community counts for more than 120,000 people in London. It is the second largest minority group in the city.

The Statistics Quarterly Report, released in November 2013 by the Office for National Statistics, reveals that 40,000 Chinese people moved to the UK in the year ending June 2013 – 8.7% of the total amount of immigrants to the UK. Immigrants from India make up the next largest group (with 37,000 people), followed by Poland with 29,000 immigrants to the UK.  For the first time in many years, India is not at the forefront of UK immigration.

London is fond of China

Chinatown is a famous area that recreates, as the name says, a little piece of China in London.

“The important thing with the incoming tourists is not only that they come here to see the historical and cultural relics, but also to enjoy the beautiful sceneries and natural landscapes,” Mr Miao said.

“They also bring Chinese culture as well. It is a two-way communication: when they come to the country, they talk to the people, they visit the top attractions of the UK, and also they contribute quite sensitively to the economic recovery in this country – because they buy here, and I think not many people more than Chinese tourists would like to spend in Harrods or in other big shops.

“But it’s also the other way round, I think that the number of UK tourists visiting China is also increasing.”

The UK’s relationship with China, though, goes beyond tourism and shopping. 2015 is the year of Cultural Exchange between China and the UK.

The first half of the year will see British culture season in China. With the theme ‘Next Generation’, a core element will be digital media. The second part will see the roles reverse.

Gun Hei Fat Choi, or Happy Chinese New Year to all our readers!

Boris Johnson’s best wishes for Chinese New Year in 2014:

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