Every year, the first major event to celebrate at the Trafalgar Square is the Chinese Lunar New Year. As planned, the celebration in London was held on in the poorly heavy rain. You might already saw the performance on the set or the TV, even via Facebook live. There are always some things you might or might not miss.
The worship ceremony
There was a time gap between the morning parade and the main stage performance. While if you were on set, you might notice that, during this period of time, the organisers were doing the so-called worship ceremony on the stage to pray for everything goes on according to the plan.
You might think Chinese are too superstitious; however, this type of worship ceremony still goes on around the Great China, especially in Hong Kong, the seems most developed city.
As a matter of fact, the worship ceremony involved in Hongkongers’ daily life. No matter if you are planning to open a new store or restaurant, or just move to the new house. Even though in the entertainment industry, hold a concert, start to shoot a movie or TV drama, you always need to follow the tradition.
The must-have for the ceremony is a whole suckling pig, lots of fruits and some snacks. While the most important thing is burning incenses and worship the gods.
Rain, rain, rain…
It sounds might ironic, the God who’s in charge of the weather seems does not want to look after the CNY celebration in London. This year was the third time for me to join the event, and as expected, it was raining AGAIN.
I am not a superstitious person, but this ‘tradition’ just went on, year by year. You might argue that this year’s celebration was in January, which we called it ‘Blue January‘; however, last year and the year before last year, the celebration were all in February.
The only explanation is, well, as we always say, the typical London’s weather. You might have four seasons a year in your country, but you can experience the four seasons in a day here in London.
Finally, the show able to start. Wait, there must be something before it. Right, speeches.
Remember that you always need to wait for 20 mins or more before you go inside the cinema or the stadium for the concert? You can do the same thing if you plan to come to the CNY celebration next year.
Speech from the organiser, speech from the ambassador of China; speech from the mayor of London; speech from the Lord Mayor Westminster; speech from the special guest from the Ministry of Culture, China… Moreover, excerpts from the letters from the Her Majesty The Queen and Theresa May.
Shall we start now? Unfortunately, the answer is NO.
The lion eye dotting ceremony
Another ceremony needs to be done, the lion eye dotting ceremony. In a short, before the lion dancing, the VIPs are supposed to ‘wake’ the lion up by dotting their eyes, Ouch!
As a matter of fact, Prince William did the similar thing about two years ago, while the different was Prince William dotted Shaun’s eyes instead of lions.
As part of the lion dancing, the eye dotting ceremony could be interesting, However, if there are more than 20 VIPs are waiting in the queue, the whole thing could be boring and annoying.
Mandarin? Cantonese? Or English?
Last year, the mid-autumn festival celebration in Chinatown, two of my foreign friends came with me, expected to have some Chinese festival experience. Turns out 90% of the conversation during the event was in Cantonese, I ended up to be the interpreter for my friends instead of enjoying the show.
For the event like CNY celebration, Mandarin and English are mainly be used. However, during one of the most popular performances, the Shaolin Kung Fu, the host explained all the Kung Fu moves in Mandarin instead of English.
Honestly, Chinese who grow up in China, though might never play Kung Fu, will know the moves. As one of the missions of the event is promoting Chinese culture to foreigners, I think English is much better for general audience’s understanding.
Eventually, I think you didn’t miss too much things…