Tasty-looking crispy ducks available for purchase inside a restaurant on the streets in London's Chinatown. Thousands of people crowded the streets on Feb. 6 to celebrate the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)
A lady tosses small goody bags taken from a decorated tree to onlookers in the streets of Chinatown in London as part of the many activities at the Chinese New Year festival. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)
A Chinese man dressed in colorful attire hands out brochures during the Chinese New Year festival in London. The rabbit ears on the man's head signify the start of the Year of the Rabbit on the Chinese calendar. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)
A silver-painted mime poses for pictures with some children at the 2011 Chinese New Year celebration in London on Feb. 6. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)
Huge crowds packed London’s Chinatown, Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square on Sunday to celebrate the Chinese New Year, which officially began three days earlier. The London Chinatown Chinese Association claimed 500,000 people attended the events in central London.
This is the Year of the Rabbit, according to the Chinese zodiac calendar, which goes through a 12-year cycle with a different animal representing each year.
According to www.chinesezodiac.com, people born during the 2011 period will be, among other things, creativite, sensitive and compassionate. Traditionally, those born during the Year of the Rabbit are also said to be friendly and outgoing and prefer to avoid conflict, unlike those born during the just completed Year of the Tiger.