Celebrate Chinese New Year in New Cross

New Cross Library celebrates Chinese New Year, Pic: Praveen Sundaram

With the Chinese New Year just around the corner, New Cross People’s Library will host members of the local community this coming weekend to build a dragon as part of the festivities.

Monday 23 January will see the dawn of what according to traditional beliefs will be the 4710th Chinese New Year.

In Chinese tradition, every year is named after one of the twelve different animals of the zodiac, each of which represents a different type of personality.  This year it’s the turn of the dragon, which is said to symbolise fertility, immortality and happiness.

To mark the celebrations, the library is opening their doors to people from Lewisham to help build a fiery beast to take part in a parade on Monday. Kath Dunbar, a volunteer from the library, told EastLondonLines: “This is the first time a library in this country is organising such a workshop and we are really looking forward to seeing plenty of people from the local community taking part in it.”

Transition New Cross, a community volunteer organisation that works towards sustainable living, will be conducting the workshop. Jessica Eiser from the group said they intend to create the large illuminated dragon from tissue paper, foils, flexible willow and tape that will be carried by around ten people on New Year’s Day.

Decorative masks and origami – the ancient chinese art of paper folding – will also be on offer.

Organisers of the workshops are to invite the local Chinese community to take part in the workshops and several students from Goldsmiths will be present. One student from China, Mengdi Li, 21 said: “I am excited and really looking forward to my first Chinese New Year in London.”

The dragon building workshop on Friday, January 20 and Sunday, January 22 between 10am and 5pm and everyone is welcome. The parade will be on Telegraph Hill on Monday, January 23.

If you would like to get involved, go to you can visit the website, or turn up on the day.

Leave a Reply