Monday, 30 January 2012

Chinese New Year celebrations, London 2012

Yesterday I took myself up to London yesterday to see the Chinese New Year celebrations... my lord it was absolutely packed everywhere I went! Trafalgar Square had crowds 8 deep on the pavements above the square, and you couldn't get down inside the square for love nor money. Nor could I really see anything via the big screens they had each side of the stage, so I gave up and went up into Chinatown itself.

 This is Rupert Street, packed but festooned with paper lanterns from one side of the street to the other - in fact most streets around Chinatown had similar displays.
And here's the entrance to Gerrard Street with its gate - and more lanterns strung across side to side. It must have taken them days to put them all up!

Here it was just as busy, but I did manage to get some great pics and video of one of the dragon dances there - I was in the right place at the right time as the security staff and marshalls accompanying the dragons did a 'Moses' act and parted the crowds so the dancers could cross to the other side of Newport Place - and I found myself right at the front and got some great footage of the dragons going right past directly in front of me!

video

I have been saying for years that I'd like to go up to London for the celebrations but until now had never gotten around to it, but it was certainly worth it, altho my nerve did break after about 3 hours from all the crowds and pushing and shoving, so I chickened out and headed home.

But not until I'd been over into Covent Garden and watched some street theatre - these guys have balls lol... this one had two children standing in front of him (not mine, so I cropped them out lol) and he was holding a fake sword to their throats - but his facial expression had me in stitches. He'd pose for pictures, then dismiss the people being photographed with him, then would toss the sword onto the ground in front of another likely punter for them to return it to him - and the poses would start all over again.
And as for this guy - he must have been so cramped up sat under this table, with just his head sticking up out of the wicker basket - he had his hands inside the furry 'paws' and every now and then would pat the table or try to itch his nose - I just hope he had a 'minder' watching over him to make sure that nobody took advantage of him, cos I guess it would take forever to get out from under all that!

And of course, no trip to the West End of London would be complete without a trip to Paperchase on Tottenham Court Road for some sheets of speciality handmade paper, no idea yet what I am going to do with them but that's not the point... I can start planning can't I...

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