East Ham market welcomes in Year of the Rabbit

SHOPPERS at East Ham’s Market Hall watched a traditional lion dance to mark Chinese New Year.

The inaugural free event – held to mark the start of the Year of the Rabbit – drew 100 people to the centre in Myrtle Road.

It was the first time such celebrations have been held at East Ham Market Hall, though they are an annual fixture at its sister market in Romford.

Those attending last Saturday’s event were treated to free noodles and fried rice, while youngsters received lucky red envelopes – or lai see – containing chocolate coins.

They were also given a chance to learn about Chinese culture and traditions.

The highlight of the afternoon was the procession of the lion dancers – believed to bring good luck – who passed by the stalls, accompanied by a drummer who is said to beat away evil. Pictured is a lion dancer with youngsters.

Marketing manager Michelle Fitzgibbons said: “It was absolutely fantastic and we had a really good turnout.

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“It did build up a crowd and they were all extremely interested to see what was going on.

“I would class it as a success and we will definitely be doing it again next year.”