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London Welcomes Year Of The Snake

posted 10 Feb 2013, 11:46 by Mpelembe   [ updated 10 Feb 2013, 11:47 ]

A lively and colourful showcase of Chinese culture parades through the streets of central London as revellers and tourists welcome the Year of the Snake.

CENTRAL LONDON. ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FEBRUARY 13, 2013) (ITN) -  A colourful parade snaked and drummed its way through the streets of centralLondon to welcome the Year of the Snake on Sunday (February 10).

The largest celebration of the Chinese New Year outside of Asia, the free event delighted Londoners and tourists with a lively showcasing of Chinese culture.

Official festivities were ushered with dancing snakes, dragons and floats along centralLondon, with people in traditional Chinese clothes and eccentric costumes.

"It was really good, it was also really nice to see all the diverse cultures that are inLondon, so that was really interesting and really fun. Happy Chinese New Year!" said one person watching the parade.

Another reveller at the parade added: "It was really cool, there was a lot of variety in it, so that was really cool. The snake at the beginning was done really well, so it was cool."

Celebrations were also held in the historic Trafalgar Square in the shadow of Nelson's column.

Large crowds gathered to watch the festivities.

Event organiser Lawrence Lee said he was pleased that large numbers of people had braved the rainy weather.

"This is actually a wonderful day, we have been looking forward to this for a long time. We actually spent about six months preparing this and today the turnout is fantastic."

The Year of the Snake will see financial markets slither higher as optimism grows, though the risk of disasters and territorial disputes in Asia also looms, according to practitioners of the ancient art of feng shui.

Mayor of LondonBoris Johnson is set to visit China later this year to promote London as a welcoming city to the Chinese for business and education.