Croydon’s Chinese New Year celebrations got off to a colourful start this weekend with hundreds of people taking to the streets to join the Lion Dance and the Phoenix Parade and welcome in the Year of the Monkey.
Chinese people celebrate the New Year based on the lunar calendar, which follows the cycle of the moon. Each year is characterised by one of 12 animals, which appear in the Chinese zodiac. 2016 is the Year of the Monkey.
This year’s celebration was organised by the Friends of the Phoenix, and included Chinese calligraphy, watercolour lantern painting workshops, and a number of art performances, exhibitions and food stalls related to Chinese culture.
Mayor of Croydon Councillor Patricia Hay-Justice opened the celebration at Elements of Transformation gallery at the Whitgift centre on Sunday morning. She said: “Today, you will see a community coming together like a family in celebration of wonderful arts.
“We are the largest London borough, but we are considered to be one of the most diverse boroughs. And we really do embrace different cultures and that’s what make us all one body in Croydon. I am looking forward to all things today. Good luck to the new year of the monkey!”
Follow Hsin-Jui Lin (Grace) @hlinhlin0317