2010年 2月 24日, 星期三 - 格林尼治标准时间10:50

Emmet's Student Diary 伦敦学生博客第20周

Emmet Conlon O'Reilly

Wednesday 24th February 2010 – Chinese New Year Celebrations

It's the festival that keeps on giving. On Sunday, London welcomed the 虎年 with a bang, literally, as the night sky was lit up by a spectacular firework display in Leicester Square.

A reflection of Emmet and his friend Lili in a shop window

Emmet and Lili handing out leaflets

Earlier that day, London's Mayor, Boris Johnson, started the party by declaring this year's festivities open. The London Chinatown Association organises the celebration every year.

Myself and a couple of classmates volunteered to help out. We were stationed at various points of the festival handing out leaflets and dishing out information about the day's events.

We started off at Shaftesbury Avenue where there were dragon dancers, singers and musicians getting the atmosphere going.

Gerrard Street, Chinatown

Gerrard Street in Chinatown

The celebrations then snaked south towards Chinatown's famous Gerrard Street where there was a sea of revellers. There were firecrackers exploding, colourful costumes and red lanterns as far as the eye could see. Food stalls lined the streets serving crispy duck, pork belly and tonnes of noodles.

The main stage was erected at Trafalgar Square and it featured all shapes and sizes of performers. China's ethnic minorities were well represented by a fleet of energetic dancers and followed by an acrobatic performance by the Sichuan Arts Troupe.

Sichuan Arts Troupe at Trafalgar Square

The Sichuan Arts Troupe on the stage at Trafalgar Square

I worked alongside two friends, Lili and Lisa, all day. We managed to catch the end of the display and it was very impressive.

This was also a great opportunity to put my somewhat limited 普通话 to use as much as possible. Given what a tourist haven this area of London is, only the most talented linguists could have communicated effectively with everyone. I think the majority were probably Cantonese speakers. I was lucky that the two girls could speak 广东话.

Fireworks at Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year was welcomed with a bang

As for the grand finale, well I don't think anyone does fireworks quite like the Chinese. It was pretty special. A couple of thousand people flocked to see a rainbow of rockets, sparklers and roman candles light up London's skyline. You could feel each explosion in the pit of the stomach. Once again 祝大家虎年虎虎生威!

lit up 照亮, firework display 烟火表演, stationed 派驻,安排到, handing out 分发, dishing out 大量分发, snaked 沿...曲折前进, a sea of revellers 众多欢庆人群, erected 建造, ethnic minorities 少数民族, fleet 队伍, catch 看见, tourist haven 游客天堂, finale 庆祝高潮, flocked 疯狂涌向, sparklers 小烟花, roman candles 罗马烟火筒, the pit of the stomach 心窝,胸口

Emmet said that the New Year was welcomed with a bang. This is similar to the phrase to start with a bang. Both phrases mean to begin something with great excitement. The word bang normally means a loud noise but here Emmet has used it to mean both a loud noise (fireworks) and excitement. For example, “The show started with a bang and was enjoyed by everyone.” The Mayor of London declared the Chinese New Year festivities open. When somebody official opens an event, it means that they ceremonially announce the start of something. E.g. “The Queen came to open the new community centre on Saturday” or: “The fair was opened by the town mayor.” Dragon dancers, singers and musicians got the atmosphere going. This means the performers helped to create a party atmosphere in London. The phrase to get something going means to start something. E.g. “To get the party going, he put some music on” or: “He needed to drink some coffee to get the day going.” Finally, Emmet said that he put his Mandarin to use. The phrase to put something to use means to use a skill you’ve learned. You can also say to put something to good use. For example, “I put my French lessons to use when I visited Paris” or: “I’d like to play in a concert so I can put my violin lessons to good use.”

Question of the week

How did you celebrate Chinese New Year? Was there a firework display near where you live? Is there any special food you only eat at New Year?

Email me and you might see your messages at the bottom of this page.

Email Emmet at 按键 chinaelt@bbc.co.uk


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