Hackney Speaker welcomes in Chinese New Year with local residents
Did you know there was a lion on the loose in Hackney at the weekend? But don’t worry it was all part of the local Chinese New Year celebrations.
The ‘Lion Dance’ was the showstopper in a day of entertainment on Saturday which saw more than 130 members of the borough’s Chinese community welcome their new year in style and colour at the Hackney Chinese Community Services Centre, in Ellingfort Road.
Martial arts demonstrations, singing, ‘lucky’ money distribution and a customary lunch also formed part of the event to see in the Year of the Sheep, traditionally associated with peace but also belligerence and poverty.
I had a fantastic day celebrating Chinese New Year with some of our local Chinese residents.
I was made to feel very welcome and enjoyed learning about the traditions and meanings behind the day.
Hackney has traditionally extended a warm welcome to those from different backgrounds and cultures, and in turn they are the reason the borough is the vibrant, dynamic destination it is today.
Organiser and centre manager Ian Yau said: “The celebration generally means good luck and prosperity for the whole year for the community. We were really happy the Speaker could make it because it makes us feel that the Council is looking after the Chinese community in Hackney. A lot of Chinese love living in Hackney.”
Chinese New Year, which also includes fireworks, cleaning and decoration rituals, took place on Thursday 19 February but most London communities celebrated over the following weekend.