London Mayor Boris Johnson, The Lord Mayor of Westminster Councillor Susie Burbridge & other dignitaries join thousands of revellers to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Trafalgar Square, London, UK. 29th January 2012.
In Chinese culture, the Dragon is a symbol of good fortune and a sign of intense power. Hence, it was no surprise that London, in it's Olympic year, was hoping that some of this might come her way.
It is no secret that the military and financial power of the world is shifting from the West to the East and what better way to keep stay ahead of the game than to host London's biggest Chinese New Year celebrations to date.
London Mayor Boris Johnson and The Lord Mayor of Westminster rubbed shoulders with other dignitaries as thousands of ordinary folk braved the freezing cold to watch the entertainment including dancers, singers, musicians and a huge firework display; a display which Boris Johnson warned in advance would not come close to rivaling China's Olympics display which "cost more than the UK defence budget" - A nice reminder of the competition London has in it's Olympic preparations but also it's challenges ahead in the era of austerity, recession and budget cuts.
Whilst it was a fun day for the capital, there is a much more important issue highlighted by today's ceremonies. A nod to the Chinese community here, and overseas, and one which will continue to worked upon by those in Whitehall and The City.