Monday 11th February 2008 by C. Freeman
Food and fireworks were just some of the highlights for students who celebrated Chinese New Year in London.
The crowds were out in force on Sunday 10 February as the capital ground to a halt while Chinese performers, acrobats, floats and market stalls adorned the streets and squares to mark the Year of the Rat.
A group of seven students from Years 12 and 13 at Brooke Weston joined teacher Mr Robert Nicholls and teaching assistant, Ms Chen on the day-long extravaganza where onlookers lined The Strand five or six deep to get a glimpse of the parade.
The Chinese Ambassador and Mayor of London were also present to mark the occasion while the Brooke Weston contingent sampled traditional Chinese fare in a restaurant.
Student Avena Davis said: 'I loved the Chinese drummers and dancers in the parade. They were really good! It's hard to say what was my favourite bit as it was all so much fun!'
A performance stage and two huge video screens were put up in Trafalgar Square so the crowds could marvel at the acrobatic performers, including two men under a Chinese Lion costume leaping between six foot high
Mr Nicholls said: 'One was wearing a large, richly decorated lion's head. They'd leap from one pillar to the next and then you'd see there was only one pair of legs because the other one was on the back of the first one. It
was just jaw-dropping and so clever.'
Student Rosie MacLeod listed her highlights as the parade, the meal and the fireworks, which took place both during the day and at night. Ms Chen, who is teaching Chinese to Year 7 students and the Sixth Form, was amazed at how many people had turned out to join in the fun. She said: 'The Chinese culture seems to be more and more popular in this country and it was really crowded as everyone turned out to celebrate.'