I am sure you all know that Chinese New Year fell on 12 February and this year we are entering the year of the Ox. Red is traditionally an important colour at Chinese New Year. People wear and decorate homes with this colour, and firecrackers are set off in celebration of the year to come. In Worcester we would normally have a crowd of people outside the Guildhall to welcome in the Chinese New Year with a dragon and brightly dressed performers and dancers, but of course as with so many events this year COVID has affected the way we marked the occasion. So, Monday found me on a Zoom call with Nina Das Gupta from BBC Hereford and Worcester, being interviewed instead about Chinese New Year.
The first year that we officially celebrated this event in Worcester was 1999, so it has now been an important fixture in the city’s calendar for 22 years. I was pleased to say in my interview how significant this festival has become and that it brings joy into the lives of so many people here, even though it will be online this year. It can be seen on YouTube at http://www.worcestershirechineseassociation.com/. We deeply value the contribution the Chinese people make to our multicultural society in Worcester and we enjoy celebrating with them.
I hope our school children are enjoying half term. I would normally be taking my grandchildren out for day trips and having fun, but times are anything but normal. This time I have had to make do with a walk with Dave. Not quite the same fun!!
I am pleased to see that the number of new cases of COVID continues to fall nationally as well as here in Worcester, and the vaccination programme is progressing well. While we can feel some relief at the promise of better times to come, please remember that our hospitals are still working overtime to cope with this disease, and therefore it is still absolutely necessary to observe the basic rules of lockdown.