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Dragon for Year of the Rat

31 January, 2020 — By Tom Foot

Photo: Jon Mo

A 50-FOOT golden dragon wowed the crowds at the Chinese New Year celebrations on Sunday.

The “Spring Festival”, which officially began on January 25, marks the new year according to the traditional Chinese calendar; 2020 is the Year of the Rat.

Chinese families often gather on the new year for an annual reunion dinner when they “sweep away any ill-fortune”.

Windows and doors are decorated with red paper cut-outs on the theme of “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity”.

Other festive activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes.

Fears about the deadly coronavirus failed to dampen the spirits as thousands enjoyed music, dramatic performances and spectacular dance shows.

The organisers of the festival, the London Chinatown Chinese Association, said: “The London Chinese New Year event organiser and all stakeholders and partners involved are closely monitoring the situation replayed to the reported outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan City, China. We are following advice from our health service partners to make sure there is no risk to the public at today’s event.”

The death toll in China had of yesterday (Thursday) risen to 170 with 7,000 confirmed cases in the country.

Any London patients diagnosed with Wuhan Coronavirus will be taken to a specialist centre in Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in Southwark.

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