Happy Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year food offerings

Today is Chinese New Year – so wishing everyone happiness and prosperity!

Or 恭喜发财 [Gong Xi Fa Cai (Mandarin) or Gung Hay Fat Choy (Cantonese)]

2021 is the Year of the Ox. People born in an Ox year are said to be dependable and determined, just like an ox.

Although celebrations are online this year because of Covid, people traditionally go home to meet up with family. The biggest family gatherings are usually on Chinese New Year’s Eve, where families remember the past year.

Other customs are:

  • Red decorations and lanterns. Red symbolises good luck and prosperity.
  • Fireworks are let off.
  • Children are given red envelopes with money inside.
  • People eat traditional foods such as dumplings, fish, rice balls, spring rolls, and fish. Different parts of China have different food traditions.
  • Last, but not least, the Chinese New Year Parade in London, with lion dancers, music and dance.

Camden Photos

A CASP member has sent in a few photos taken in Camden during lockdown.

If you have any photos of Camden during the last year that you want to share, from Kilburn to Kentish Town, or Highgate to Holborn, we would love to see them.

To send in photos, email in to casp.committee@yahoo.co.uk, and include “Photos” in the subject line.

Holocaust Memorial Day

Start of David with candles
Image by chenspec from Pixabay

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day, a day to remember all those people who were killed by the Nazis during World War II, and also all those killed in genocides since.

If you are interested in learning more, please visit the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust:

https://hmd.org.uk

Another fascinating resource is Faces of Auschwitz, a project that puts names and histories to some of the people who were at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

http://facesofauschwitz.com

Happy Diwali

Tomorrow is the major Hindu festival of Diwali, the festival of lights. For most Hindus, the day is the third day of a five-day celebration, celebrating the victory of light over darkness and of knowledge over ignorance. The highlight for many is the Lakshmi Puja, a festival to the goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, although other gods may also be honoured.

People celebrate by lighting lamps and putting up decorations, setting off fireworks, visiting family, giving gifts, and eating special sweets.

Diwali Lamps and Rangoli
Diwali Lamps and Rangoli

The time of Diwali is also sacred for Sikhs, who celebrate the day as Bandi Chhor Divas, the “Day of Liberation”. On this day, the Sikh Guru Hargobind was released from prison by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir.

Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar
Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar

Making Green Come True

With rising fuel costs and changing climate, there is more and more talk of making homes more energy efficient. But what does that mean in practice? And how will it happen?

Fuel Poverty Action are hosting a half-day online conference on Saturday 05 December to discuss various issues around “Green Housing”.

FREE Basic Computer Skills

The Sidings Community Centre (West Hampstead/Kilburn) is running FREE basic computer skills teaching. Items covered include:

  • Using Email
  • Using Google Maps
  • How to move photos from a camera or mobile phone to computer
  • Using Google Photos to back up photos
  • Making Video Calls

If you or anyone you know could benefit from this, please read this poster:

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Shanah Tovah

Rosh Hashanah

This weekend marks the Jewish celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the New Year celebration in the Jewish calendar, and the start of a holy period leading up to Yom Kippur.

The Jewish community has long had, and continues to have, a significant presence in the Borough, and they have made many contributions to London. Although activities have been disrupted by COVID, in Camden there are:

To the Jewish community we wish Shanah Tovah, or Happy New Year.

Open House 2020

St Pancras London
St Pancras

The annual Open House festival allows people to view interesting buildings around London that are not normally open to the public, or that you might not have heard about.

https://openhouselondon.open-city.org.uk/

This year’s event will be a bit different.

Instead of being just one weekend, the festival will go from 19 September to 27 September. There will be events, online events, booked tours, self-guided walks, and many more. The main Open House weekend will be 19 & 20 September.

Events in Camden include:

  • Self-guided tours around Camden (both walking & cycling)
  • Guided tour of Somers Town
  • Edwardian Art & Architecture tour in Bloomsbury
  • St George’s Church, Bloomsbury Way
  • Shaftesbury Theatre , Shaftesbury Avenue
  • St Pancras Chambers & Clock Tower, St Pancras Station, Euston Road
  • Hampstead Friends Meeting House, 120 Heath Street
  • Acland Burghley School, Burghley Road
  • Fitzroy Park Allotments
  • Warehouse refurbishment, 9 Jeffrey’s Place
  • Photographic exhibition at Pushkin House, Bloomsbury Square
  • Bloomscape online event run by John Birkbeck School of Arts