Chinese New Year fell on the week of school half-term this year. I seized to opportunity for us to mark the occasion with family days out, as well as arts and crafts. In a previous post, I talked about the challenge of celebrating our cultural heritage in February. I’m not sure I pulled it off but I did. The half term was busy but we had a wonderful time for Chinese New Year.
Day out in Chinatown
On the first day of half term my family and I went into Chinatown. I had a list of places I wanted us to visit. We started with lunch at Golden Dragon. Ten minutes after opening time and there was already a queue but it was worth the wait. My favourite dim sum was the Crispy Char Sui and Taro Croquette with pork and prawn. Bean curd from the main menu was divine. I think it was Bean Curd with Seasonal Green Vegetables. It was so scrumptious and creamy in texture. The children loved the egg fried rice, crispy pork.
For desert we visited Bubble London. I was surprised by the size. We couldn’t sit and eat, it was takeaway. The waffle was soft, not overly sweet and a perfect complement to the ice cream.
We ended our visit by popping into on Guanghwa Bookshop on Shaftesbury Street. It’s a pretty shop on two floors with a selection of books in Chinese and English. I bought the children a stage 1 reading book. Valentina so proud when she learnt how to write a few numbers in Chinese. It would be a good way to extend her learning to a few words.
Strove Tuesday concedes with Carnival Tuesday in Trinidad, on that day we stayed home and made craft together. There’s no better time to see the cultural and political influences on the island than at Carnival. So we began the day with pancakes, then in made masks.
We listed to Soca while we worked. In honour of their Chinese heritage, I helped the kids to make mask in the shape of their Chinese horoscope. We used paints, paper, glitter and palette sticks. They were very proud of their work and so was I.
Chinese New Year Celebration in London
In London, the festivities for Chinese New Year began on Friday 16th February. The culmination was on the Sunday. The family and I went into London on the Sunday morning. We made an early start to avoid as much crowd as possible.
The parade on Charing Cross road was beautiful, such vibrant colours and excellent craftsmanship. Then it was dim sum! We dinned at Joy King Lau restaurant with full bellies we stopped by the Leicester Square stage. Trafalgar Square had the main stage and the performances were breathtaking. Tears did flow when it was home time but it could not be helped, Monday was school.
Now that the kids are older and I know what to expect, we will be returning to London for next year’s New Year’s celebration. I can hardly wait!