Chinese New Year Parade comes to Chatham
Colourful celebrations to mark the Chinese New Year captivated shoppers in Chatham at this weekend.
There was plenty to feast your eyes, ears and tastebuds on as Medway welcomed the Year of the Horse at one of Britain’s biggest new year events.
It started on Saturday when Chatham Town Centre hosted a market and entertainment taster sessions.
Then today, dragons, lion, unicorn dancers and martial arts specialists helped transform the high street into a hub of cultural activity as the grand Chinese Parade came to town.
Magnificent Chinese dragons, colourful lion dancers, and dozens of people in Chinese costume set off from Military Road at noon and made their way through the town centre to the deafening sounds of banging drums.
Hundreds of people lined the High Street to see the parade pass by.
Among them was Jennifer Baker, 34, from Rochester, who brought her two children to see the parade.
She said: “This is the second year we have come down to see the celebrations. The kids really enjoy it and they love seeing the golden dragon. It is nice that they have something like this in Chatham so you don’t have to travel to London.
“I think it’s really important for children to learn about other cultures. They learn about the Chinese New Year at school so it’s good for them to come down and see it. We’ll be back next year.”
Michael Yeong, 60, who took part in the parade added: “There is quite a big, active Chinese community here, which is why it’s such a large event.
“It is important to celebrate the new year like every person celebrates Christmas.
“We wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year.”
Rounding off this year’s celebrations was a show at the Central Theatre, this afternoon. The Wonderful China show was presented by the Medway Dragon and Lion Dance Association, who also performed in London’s Trafalgar Square at London’s Chinese New Year celebrations.
The horse is one of the 12-year cycle of animals which appears in the Chinese zodiac. Babies born in the year of the hose are said to be animated, active, energetic and love being in a crowd.
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