SEASONAL: An Alternative Lunar New Year in London

It’s the Lunar New Year and some of the biggest celebrations outside of Asia take place in London each year. Whilst the vibrant parades are a delight to watch, if you’re looking to skip the crowds there are a few alternative options out there.

Back Alley Noodles

It is customary in many Asian countries to eat long noodles for the new year to signify longevity. If you are after a long life, make sure not to break the noodles in the cooking process. Your best bet at keeping them intact is a stir-fry.Tucked away in China Town you can find some great back-alley ‘ho fun’ noodles. Ignore first impressions from cardboard boxes and the industrial setting and step inside Lo’s Noodle Factory. You can see the noodles being made fresh in front of you, going straight from the machine to being packaged and then sold at the door. A bag of noodles is just £1 and will easily feed two people with big appetites. Nothing beats fresh noodles particularly when they’re still warm in their packaging. The man selling them doesn’t speak much English but you’ll get by fine with a bit of pointing and a smile.

Catch A Lucky Fish

If you are after some luck for the new year, a fish-based meal is the way to go according to tradition as the Chinese word for fish sounds like the word for abundance. The fish should be served whole with head and tail still intact to ensure a lucky year from start to finish.So rather than just heading down to the supermarket, why not have a go at catching your own fish at some of the free angling locations around London including, the Pen Ponds in Richmond Park and the Clapham Common Ponds. Though make sure to obtain your free permit first!

Get Creative

On Saturday, 11th February the V&A Museum of Childhood is teaming up with The Mothers’ Bridge of Love to offer a free drop in workshops for all ages to try their hand at Chinese Opera mask making, costume and calligraphy.Enjoy celebrating the year of the Rooster!