Chinese New Year 2019

Chinese New year 2019

Chinese New Year 5th February 2019

Chinese New Year

What is the animal for Chinese New year 2019? It's a Pig!

So If you're needing a Taxi/Private Hire vehicle to a special lunch, or Chinese New Year event in London, please book early as we can get quickly flooded with bookings, so as not to disappoint get in quick!

When is Chinese New Year celebrated?

Marking the turn of the lunar year, Chinese New Year has been celebrated for centuries in China. Also known as Spring Festival and Lunar New Year around the world, this colourful celebration starts on the last day of the last month in the Chinese lunar calendar and ends on the 15th day of the first month with the spectacular Lantern Festival.

In 2019, Chinese New Year falls on 5 February and celebrates the Year of the Pig. The main Chinese New Year events take place in London’s Chinatown, the West End and Trafalgar Square on 10 February.

Watch the colourful Chinese New Year parade pass through the streets of the West End and Chinatown London. Head over to Trafalgar Square for stage performances and all-day entertainment, or visit stages dotted across the West End for more Chinese New Year celebrations.

The story of Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is based on various legends, including that of an old man defeating the wicked mythical beast Nian with the help of firecrackers and red paper defences.

The festival gives people a chance to remember ancestors and to pay tribute to gods. On Chinese New Year’s Eve (the evening before Chinese New Year’s Day), families gather together for dinner and children often receive red packets with money for good luck.

Traditionally, every family would clean their house in the build-up to Chinese New Year to ward off any bad luck from the current year, and to make room for good luck in the coming year. Openings such as doors or windows would be given a makeover with red paper decorations to bring in good fortune, happiness, wealth and longevity.

Chinese New Year is celebrated across the globe, with the nature of the celebrations varying depending on the location. But whether you’re on China’s mainland, in other Asian territories such as Singapore and Thailand, or in Chinatown neighbourhoods in major cities, such as London, you’ll be sure to have a good time with firecrackers, lion dances and festive food over Lunar New Year.

Chinese New Year celebrations in London

The London Chinatown Chinese Association (LCCA) was founded in 1978 to help businesses in Chinatown, to provide support for British Chinese and to raise funds for disaster relief in China.
Today, the LCCA continues to help the Chinese business community in London, alongside organising the annual Chinese New Year events and the Mid-Autumn Festival in London.

The Chinese New Year London celebrations began as a small community event in Chinatown more than 20 years ago; the festivities have now become the largest of their kind outside Asia, attracting hundreds of thousands of people to the capital each year.

Having grown across the West End, the Chinese New Year celebrations in London include the colourful Chinese New Year parade, lion dances through Chinatown and a spectacular stage show in Trafalgar Square.

Top 10 tips for Chinese New Year in London

animated dragon

Burn’s Night Supper

Burns night header

Burn's Night Supper 2019

If you're needing a Taxi/Private Hire vehicle to a Burn’s Night, also known as Burn’s Supper, please book early as we can get quickly flooded with bookings, so as not to disappoint get in quick!

Burn's Night is a holiday celebrated in Scotland on January 25th in honor of the poet Robert Burns. While this holiday is officially a Scottish holiday, many people all over the world celebrate it by hosting their own versions of Burn’s Supper.

History of Burn’s Night

Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and lyricist which was born on January 25th, 1759 in Ayrshire, Scotland. He was regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement. He is not only known for his poetry but is also known for his original compositions. Although he died on July 21st, 1796, he gained enormous popularity in Scotland during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Burn’s Night can be traced all the way back to a supper held by the friends of Robert Burns on July 21st, 1801. They had gathered together on this day because it was the fifth anniversary of his death and they wanted to honor him. This first Burn’s Night was held at Burns Cottage. That year, the Burns Club was founded and a supper was arranged on what the founders thought was Robert Burn’s birthday–January, 29th. However, they then discovered records which showed Burn’s birthday was actually on January 25th. Since then, Burn’s Supper has been celebrated on that day.

Burn’s Night Customs & Celebrations

One of the traditional ways to celebrate Burn’s Night is with a Burn’s Supper. These dinners can be formal or informal and may include only friends or friends and family. During this supper, ‘Selkirk Grace’ is recited as well as the ‘Address to a Haggis’. Whiskey and food are also main components of this supper. Some of the food which is served includes Cullen Skink, Haggis, neeps and tatties. Desserts often include oatmeal shortbread, whiskey caramels and marinated raspberries.

"The Rusty Gun" have a Burns Night event each year.

The Rusty Gun is a great country pub in St Ippolyts, Hitchin that combines three great elements of, local beers from The Old Cannon Brewery, great wines from The Burch family and a cosy atmosphere with our greatest passion food.

flying haggis

Christmas bookings

Santa

Just a quick post letting you all know about our Christmas & New Years availability. With the run up to Christmas soon coming upon us it’s a good idea to get in there early to book Welwyn Private Hire for your Christmas break airport travel, as we quickly get fully booked at this time of year. So we would advise to avoid disappointment for our regular customers, yes, you know the drill, use our booking form on this site or simply call us for availability.

We are open as usual apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Eve & New Years Day, unless its a special occasion, pre- arranged or unavoidable flight arrangements.

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Bonfire Night

Guy Fawkes

Guy Fawkes Night 2018

Guy Fawkes – a summary

Guy Fawkes was born in York around 13 April 1570. Although there is some uncertainty surrounding the exact date of his birth, church archives confirm that he was baptised on 16th April 1570 at the church of St Michael le Belfrey. His parents Edward and Edith Fawkes were Protestant, and as such, it is believed that Guy was raised in the Protestant faith.

When he was eight years old, the young Fawkes attended St Peter’s School in York. It was here that he first made the acquaintance of two brothers, Jack and Christopher Wright, who would become his comrades in the plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament some thirty years later.

Catholic conversion

Guy’s father died in 1579 when Guy was just nine-years-old and within two years his mother had remarried a Catholic man called Denis Bainbridge. Many believe that Guy’s conversion to the Catholic faith was due to his stepfather’s influence. It is unclear exactly when Fawkes adopted Catholicism, but it is widely accepted that he was a confirmed and devoted Catholic by the time he turned 21.

The year 1591 proved to be a momentous one for Fawkes. As soon as he came of age, he sold the property he had inherited from his father and made preparations to leave England for the Continent. An active and passionate man of striking appearance, Fawkes wasted no time in signing up to the Spanish Army of Flanders. He was to spend the next 12 years as a mercenary soldier in the Low Countries, fighting with Catholic forces against Protestant resistance. It was during this time that Fawkes, who had earned the reputation of a good-living, loyal and brave soldier, gained a thorough knowledge of gunpowder – and it was this expertise which was to ultimately lead to his downfall.

The willing recruit

It may surprise many to learn that Guy Fawkes, despite his name being synonymous with the Gunpowder Plot, was not the main architect of the conspiracy. The scheme was proposed by a group of Catholic cousins in England, two of whom were Guy’s old school-friends, the Wright brothers. The leader of this tight-knit group of conspirators set about recruiting Fawkes on the strength of his reputation as a courageous soldier, his loyalty to his Catholic faith and, of course, his gunpowder expertise. Fawkes, who had by then adopted the name Guido, proved to be a willing recruit; he landed in England in April 1604, ready to take up the Catholic cause.
And so began Guido Fawkes’s involvement with the doomed plot to blow up King James I, Lords and Commons on November 5th, 1605. The scheme was foiled, and Guido was caught red-handed, on the night of 4th November, in a vault under the Palace of Westminster. This vault contained 36 barrels of gunpowder, enough to blow the Houses of Parliament sky-high. He was arrested, imprisoned in the Tower of London and tortured. He succumbed on the night of 7th November and confessed all to his inquisitors. His fate was sealed.

A traitor’s death

Fawkes’s trial took place on 27th January 1606. He was found guilty of treason and sentenced to death by the grotesque means of hanging, drawing and quartering (this gruesome sentence was common for those convicted of betraying King and country). However, Fawkes’s execution, which took place on 31st January, was mercifully swift; the hangman’s noose broke his neck and he was thus spared the agony of a traitor’s death.
Every year on 5th November, as bonfires blazed throughout the Kingdom to commemorate the King’s deliverance from the terrorist plot, the legend of Guy Fawkes became inextricably linked with the story of the Gunpowder Plot, to the extent that 5th November has become known as ‘Guy Fawkes Night’. His legend continues unabated to this day.

Bonfire night

Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Bonfire Night or Firework Night, is an annual commemoration observed on 5th November, primarily in Great Britain. Celebrating the fact that King James I had survived the attempt on his life, people lit bonfires around London, and months later the introduction of the Observance of 5th November Act enforced an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot’s failure.

Within a few decades Gunpowder Treason Day, as it was known, became the predominant English state commemoration, but as it carried strong Protestant religious overtones it also became a focus for anti-Catholic sentiment. Puritans delivered sermons regarding the perceived dangers of popery, while during increasingly raucous celebrations common folk burnt effigies of popular hate-figures, such as the pope. Towards the end of the 18th century reports appear of children begging for money with effigies of Guy Fawkes and 5th November gradually became known as Guy Fawkes Day. Towns such as Lewes and Guildford were in the 19th century scenes of increasingly violent class-based confrontations, fostering traditions those towns celebrate still, albeit peaceably. In the 1850s changing attitudes resulted in the toning down of much of the day’s anti-Catholic rhetoric, and the Observance of 5th November Act was repealed in 1859. Eventually the violence was dealt with, and by the 20th century Guy Fawkes Day had become an enjoyable social commemoration, although lacking much of its original focus. The present-day Guy Fawkes Night is usually celebrated at large organised events, centred on a bonfire and extravagant firework displays.

Bonfire and Fireworks Events

 

When do the clocks change?

clock and bed

British Summer Time ends

It's that time of year again where we turn the clocks backwards and all get one hour more in bed!

The clocks go back on the 28th October of this year. In the UK the clocks go forward 1 hour at 1am on the last Sunday in March, and back 1 hour at 2am on the last Sunday in October.
The period when the clocks are 1 hour ahead is called British Summer Time (BST). There's more daylight in the evenings and less in the mornings (sometimes called Daylight Saving Time).
When the clocks go back, the UK is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

By the meteorological calendar, spring starts on 1 March. The seasons are defined as Spring (March, April, May), Summer (June, July, August), Autumn (September, October, November) and Winter (December, January, February). In 2016 it was a particularly special year as it marked 100 years since we first changed our clocks like this. 

Whose idea was it to change the clocks?

An American politician and inventor called Benjamin Franklin first came up with the idea while in Paris in 1784. He suggested that if people got up earlier, when it was lighter, then it would save on candles. But it arrived in the UK after Coldplay singer Chris Martin's great-great-grandfather, a builder called William Willett, thought it was a good idea too.

In 1907, he published a leaflet called The Waste of Daylight, encouraging people to get out of bed earlier. Willett was a keen golfer and he got cross when his games would be cut short because the Sun went down and there wasn't enough light to carry on playing.

When did we start changing our clocks?

The idea of moving the clocks forwards and backwards was discussed by the government in 1908, but many people didn't like it so it wasn't made a law.
Willett spent his life trying to convince people that it was a good idea, but it was only introduced in the UK in 1916 - a year after he died.

It was actually first introduced by the Germans in World War One, just before the UK did it.
During World War Two, the UK actually used what was called British Double Summer Time (BDST), when the clocks were ahead by an extra hour during the summer. But this didn't last for very long.

Now, the UK's clocks always go back by one hour on the last Sunday in October and forward by one hour on the last Sunday in March.
Moving clocks like this is now done in some countries across the world, but many still don't do this.

What do people think of it?

Many people have different opinions about whether we should change our clocks like this. Some think having BST is a good thing because it saves energy, by making better use of natural daylight, and helps to reduce traffic accidents.
Others don't like it because they argue that it doesn't actually save any energy, and it can make it darker when children are going to school in the morning, which can be dangerous. They also think it is not very good for our health.

 

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