Chinese New Year 2013: Guide to London’s Year of the Snake
By Ewan Palmer | February 9, 2013 3:11 AM EST
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets of London on 10 February to help see in the Chinese New Year.
Revellers will get join in the festivities, which will celebrate the rich Chinese culture, food and heritage.
To help bring in the Year of the Snake, there will be a huge variety of musical performances, food stalls, acrobatics and dancing - all free and throughout the day.
One of the people who will now doubt be joining in the occasion is Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.
He said: "London's Chinese New Year celebrations will be without doubt an early highlight of 2013.
"Bringing hundreds of thousands of people into central London, it is one of the most exuberant and colourful events of the year, with Londoners and visitors alike enjoying acrobats, musicians and performers from the UK and China itself."
The New Year is one of the biggest days n the Chinese calendar, so here at IBTimes UK we have pieced together a guide to what's on across the capital to make sure you don't miss a thing.
Chinese New Year 2013: Year of the Snake
10:00am The celebrations begin with a colourful parade which will start at Trafalgar Square. This dazzling parade of Chinese dragons and beating drums can be followed through Chinatown before ending up in Rupert Street just off Shaftesbury Avenue at around 11:00am.
12:00pm-6pm: Following the parade around the West End, the celebrations will officially begin with the traditional Eye Dotting ceremony taking place at Trafalgar Square.
As well as the traditional array of acrobats, martial arts, magic and street artisits, there will be performances from Hong Kong-born singer-songwriter Emmy the Great and critically acclaimed group Noah and the Whale among others.
There will also be performances from the world-renowned Chen Brothers Flying Lion Dance group and Britain's Got Talent winner Paul Potts, who will take to the stage at 3:30pm
5:55pm A huge fireworks display will end the day's celebrations in appropriate style.
On top of this, there will also be a panoply of food stalls and souvenir shops selling a huge range of Chinese goods such as lanterns and paper dragons.
On top of the celebrations put together by the Chinatown Chinese Association, many restaurants in the city will have special Chinese New Year menus and activities.
While Chinatown near Soho is a good place to start, there are plenty more Chinese restaurants to be found across London.
Chinese New Year Manchester
As well as in London, around 50,000 people are expected to gather in the streets of Manchester for a parade, which will start at Manchester Town Hall at 1pm and continue through to the city's Chinatown.
One of the highlight will be a 175ft long dragon taking part in the parade. The day will finish off with a huge 15 minute fireworks display at 6pm in Chinatown.
The street celebrations are all free to the public.
Manchester has the largest Chinese community in the UK outside London.
Coun Pat Karney, city centre spokesman said: Each year the city centre undergoes the most wonderful Oriental transformation and the new year celebrations have become one of the most anticipated events in Manchester's calendar."
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