Hackney celebrates Chinese New Year

The Speaker of Hackney, Cllr Faizullah Khan, has celebrated the Year of the Rat with members of the borough’s Chinese community.

He was invited to attend the Chinese New Year celebrations at the Hackney Chinese Community Services centre in Ellingfort Road, E8.

Colourful performances included a Northern Lion Dance, acrobatic performance and face changing, a traditional Chinese art where the performer wears masks which change very quickly - all performed by Far Eastern Arts.

Around 100 people attended the event on Saturday 16 February. Other highlights included singing groups, Chinese opera, and a game to find a golden rat hidden inside a balloon.

Every guest also received a good fortune Lucky Red Packet that symbolises good luck for the whole year.

The Speaker said: “I respect the Chinese community - they are very peaceful people. Guests at the celebrations explained to me that the rat is an industrious, active animal and that they would be taking that as inspiration for another hard-working year. I admire the way they have thought about regenerating their energies in this way.”

Dennis Chung, Chairman of Hackney Chinese Community Services, said: “It was a great day of celebrations which brought the Chinese community together. Everyone really enjoyed themselves.”