LONDON, Feb. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Over 700,000 people celebrated Chinese New Year in Trafalgar Square in the biggest global celebration outside China on Sunday. They were joined by those in New York, as the Empire State Building glowed gold and red in recognition of the festival. The festivities show the growing reach of Chinese New Year, as people gathered from Singapore to Sydney, and from Qatar to Quebec, to welcome the Year of the Monkey.
The Trafalgar Square parade was organized by the London Chinatown Chinese Association. In London performers walked across Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue. Ten lion teams performed in the march, which wound up in Chinatown for performances. Record crowds gathered for the afternoon of celebrations, including high-pole dances, Sichuan Opera and acrobatics. The day finished with fireworks, and the lighting of Nelson's Column.
"This is a holiday where the Chinese reunite with their families. No matter where they are or where they live. It's a big holiday in China and around the world," said Chinese Ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming.
A parade also passed through New York. The spectacle featured elaborate floats, marching bands and dragon dances, as well as a procession by local NYC organizations. After the lighting of the Empire State Building, festivities continued with a fireworks display over the Hudson River.
Celebrations also continued within China. "This is probably the biggest holiday in China, and people in China will also be happy to be travelling home to meet their families," said Consul General Ambassador Zhang Qiyue.
Yet the celebrations were not limited to London and New York. These cities represent just some of the locations across the globe that celebrated the festivities. The events are a reflection of expanding international recognition of Chinese culture and traditions. As events sweep across the globe, these unique celebrations are touching more and more people.
SOURCE London Chinatown Chinese Association