Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chinese New Year 2009

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It was fortunate that the height of the Chinese New Year celebrations were not spoiled by the onslaught of snow that hit London later that same night. The air was bitterly cold and it began to snow in sporadic sessions here and there, but it was not enough to cripple the celebrations as yet.
Gerard St in London's Chinatown was packed with revellers, all with cameras at the ready. I never felt so less out of place with my camera in hand and it was more a question of who didn't have their camera than who did.

Here's a few pics of what went down that day:

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Dragon's Beard candy in the making. It can be likened in texture to Fairy Floss (Cotton Candy) or Pashmak, a confection that is traditionally made using honey and rock sugar. There were two of these stalls demonstrating how apparently easy it was to make the candy. A little rolling, a little rubbing, then some pulling and a little slight of hand and there you have yourself some Dragon's Beard candy. It was like a magic trick. They were selling them for £3 per box.

A familiar sight at any Chinatown you go to are the ducks hanging from the restaurant windows inviting hungry passer-bys into the shop. Sweet buns were also selling fast.

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It started snowing quite quickly, but disappeared as fast as it appeared. It later turned into the infamous snowfall that crippled London the next day.

As you can see, it was blaringly obvious everywhere you went what year it was on the Chinese zodiac, the year of the Ox. This man was getting really into character.

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Everyone followed the beat of the drum and the dance of the dragon as it made its way through the streets and warded off evil spirits as it is fabled to do.

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Chinatown became a sea of red, as lanterns floated above you along the laneways. And trinkets for good luck hanged across each stall goading children and adults alike.

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47 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Stunning celebration!!

Ash said...

Awesome Photo's! hope you had an awesome New Year!

Aud said...

Looks good Jen. I was thinking of you when we were at the food growers market at the weekend. The weather here couldn't be any more different to the weather in London

Jamie said...

This looks like great fun. And I would love to eat there on the street - my, it all looks so good!

Aimée said...

Love the photos. Looks like a good time was had by all (except the clean-up guys).

beautifuliving said...

Every year I tell myself I'm going to make it to a Chinese New Year celebration and every year I bail. It's too easy when it's so cold out but you images have me regretting my actions.

Y said...

Happy belated Chinese New Year to you! :)

Katie said...

Sounds like a wonderful day. I'm longing to visit chinatown but never got there yet. All the stalls and the atmosphere sound amazing.

Belle said...

There seems to be a wide range of merchandise available there (much more than here). Great for photo opps! Hope you had a good time.

Dallas from Bitchin' Kitchen said...

A wonderful account of a gorgeous celebration.

Sneh said...

Brilliant Photo Story. Thanks for sharing such lovely pictures :-)

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Looks like a grand party!

samantha said...

The Chinese New Year celebrations are pretty much alike where ever the Chinese live - London, New York or California - its all the same - fun and festivity in the air plus all the yummy food.

Mei said...

Very lovely! Makes me miss home even more!

Miss Red said...

such awesome shots!

Ulla said...

I love all the red!

il ramaiolo said...

Ciao!!all you make is wonderful!!!
Compliments!! mmmmH "I don't speak english, but I follow you!"

il ramaiolo said...

Hello!!! all you make is meraviglioso!!
ciao

Julia said...

Wonderful photos. All the red looks stunning.

Irene said...

Wonderful photos!!!

dawn said...

The snapshots looks so inviting..here i have once attended the chinese new year celebration at my friend's house. i like the noodles the most...uphere it is very hard to find chinese food products. my friend introducted me to a great resource www.myethnicworld.com and i thought that i pass great along as well.

Milk It Honey said...

the pictures you post are sooo beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures! Very nice celebration...
Ciao.
Orchidea

cin said...

it wasn't CNY but a couple of years ago the Sweet Dragon Beard guy had a woman guarding people from taking photos of him making the product. i think she was worried we were going to steal his secrets!

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nawal said...

magnifique ton blog et tes photos
bay

Anonymous said...

O Blogger, where art thou?

zoe said...

Beautiful photos!

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Pete said...

Dragon beard cookies is nice! The man with the bull horn kinda funny!

Alessandra said...

Great reportage, thank you!

Coffee and Vanilla said...

Hi Jen,


A while ago you have been nominated to Inspiring Food Photography poll and I would want also to give you Beautiful Blog award (replacement for IFP event):
http://www.coffeeandvanilla.com/?p=7020
If you agree place link or badge linking to the B B List somewhere on your site or mention it in the post and I will place your link on the list.

Margot

ioyces said...

hi Jenn! it's been quite a while since ur last entry!. Hope everything is alrite in London! Take care- and sending fond thoughts!

Fashion London Life said...

An other article soon???

:D

Ares said...

that looks like soooo much fun!!...hopefully one day ill be able to go to exotic places and celebrate things like that

Download Music said...

I love those photos. I bet it was complete chaos with all of those people.

John said...

Looks like quite a celebration!

Vanessa said...

All pictures are awesome........Lovely party

Vanessa said...

Belated happy Chinese new year. All pictures are very colorful and awesome shot.

NutraBrite said...

China is really a great country which has touched the heights in just 60 years of independence.

Anonymous said...

hi jen, long time since your last post. I sincerely hope that you're ok and you just have given up blogging!

LoveFeast Table said...

Those were delightful photographs, very fun!

new year cards said...

stunning pics...m a great foodie myself..cant wait to gorge on dis ASAP.. :)

namz0rs @ WhatTheFood said...

That looks absolutely amazing.. so colorful, damn wish it was that big in Sydney :)

My blog =)

eatmovelove said...

Great blog! How could I not read one called "milk and cookies" haha :) Seems like a wonderful celebration. Check out my blog if you wish - love finding new readers and sites! Cheers.