greyorgreenI promise this will be my last post about Chinese New Year in London for the time being! But here are just a few more tips about how to enjoy the festivities, especially with kids. (And, yes, I realise that you will have to keep this information till next year, which obviously I hope you will.)
China Town can be very crowded during the main celebrations, which normally take place on the first Sunday following the Beginning of the New Year. If you have small kids, they won't be able to see much and might get overwhelmed by the crowd.
This year we went to China Town on Saturday when you will see quite a few lions dancing from shop to restaurants and private houses, accompanied by drums. It is a lovely sight and the kids can get quite close on occasion. The dancers perform the traditional custom of 'cai ching', meaning 'plucking the greens', which the owners have hung quite high up outside their entrances. The lion has to pluck the green together with a red envelope, spitting out the green but keeping the envelope, of course! And the higher the lion has to stretch, the bigger the reward should be in the red envelope. The dance is believed to bring good luck and fortune.
Another good idea is to ask your favourite Chinese Restaurant if they are expecting a visit from the Lion. On Sunday we went to Royal China in Fulham and saw a lovely Lion there, dancing from table to table.