Like many large cities, London has a vibrant and thriving Chinatown. This weekend was their New Years celebration and we decided to brave the cold and join the festivities! The celebrations were taking place in couple of different locations. There was a huge stage show with traditional singers, dancers and martial artists at Trafalgar Square, but we couldn’t get close enough to get any good pictures. In the heart of Chinatown there were stalls selling trinkets and dragon puppets and all kinds of hand-made Chinese candies and other goodies! This is the year of the ox. I was born in the year of the rat, 1984, and Mike the year of the ram/goat, 1979.
According to the Chinese zodiac.
…one of the most industrious and hardest working in the zodiac. Forever busy in pursuit of an ambitious personal goal, at times they may become difficult to work with since they are born perfectionists. Rats must ensure that every “i” is dotted before completing an assigned task. As a result, they are often successful financially, and are good providers for their family and those they cherish most dearly. Loyal and loving, Rat people inspire loyalty in others who are close to them. They are essentially honest individuals and loath to betray a confidence. However, their quick wit and restlessness can sometimes lead to chattiness, and they can often be relied upon at large social gatherings for a good story or a juicy bit of gossip. Their energy levels and expert organizational talents are such that it is a rare thing to see a Rat person sitting idly by with nothing to do.
…the most creative sign in the Chinese zodiac, those born in the Year of the Sheep (also known as the Year of the Ram or Goat) are often artistic, sensitive, sweet and charming. Shy by nature, Sheep are not the most practical of people and, although well-mannered, they occasionally may suffer from “foot-in-mouth disease” by saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Still, with their considerable charm and innocence Sheep never lack for protective friends and admirers. Outwardly dreamy and starry-eyed, Sheep are inwardly anxious, insecure, and usually find day-to-day living difficult and puzzling. As such, they often take refuge in religion, astrology or the occult. Sheep are not overly ambitious, but once they find work that makes use of their considerable talents, they are passionate about what they do. Typically surrounded by beautiful things, Sheep have an ardent love of creature comforts and are almost always elegantly dressed, but can become overly reliant on appearances. Conversely, Sheep people have an innate love of nature and are never happier than when messing about in the garden.
Just like anything like this painted with such broad strokes, there are hits and misses. And we put about as much stock in the Chinese zodiac as we do the regular one, which is to say, none.
Some pictures from our day:
Confession – We went to a Vietnamese restaurant in Chinatown for dinner. Do you know how hard it is to get a table at a Chinese restaurant on Chinese new year? It may have been the wrong country but the food was delicious!
My real feelings on being out in the cold and snow: