Get practising ‘Kung Hei Fat Choi’ because it’s Chinese New Year. At least learning ‘Happy New Year’ in Chinese is MUCH easier than learning the words to Auld Lang Syne.
It’s now the year of the snake; if you were born in 1965, 1977, 1989 or 2001 (keep taking away 12 if you are one of our more vintage readers) you’re a snake. That means you’re wise, deep, calm, financially fortunate, vain, relentless, mysterious, independent, confident , power-seeking and would make a great politician. Just like Daniel Radcliffe, Taylor Swift, Shakira, Danny Dyer, Orlando Bloom, Charlie Sheen, Ben Stiller, Sarah Jessica Parker, John Malkovich, Ron Jeremy, Bob Dylan and Will and Kate’s baby. If you want to get close to snakes without slithering up to one of those celebs, here are some of many snakes you can see around London. Jude Brosnan
London Zoo‘s famous reptile house (it was in ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’) is home to some of the biggest and most venomous snakes in the world. If you exit through the gift shop, you might be inclined to purchase a plush cuddly snake instead of attempting to hold a real one.
A Brazen Snake
Don’t you just hate it when God sends a plague of serpents? This painting ‘The Brazen Serpent’ by Peter Paul Rubens (1577 – 1640) at The National Gallery shows Moses telling everyone who has been bitten because of their sinfulness to look at the bronze serpent he has on his pole and they will be saved.
A Wrestling Snake
An actual bronze snake, the river-god Achelous being wrestled by Hercules lived at Windsor Castle until 1963 and now resides on the Palm House pond in Kew Gardens.
Not the reptilian kind, the Monty kind. Eric Idle’s Monty Python musical ‘Spamalot‘ is playing at the Playhouse Theatre.
A Lake Snake
The Serpentine in Hyde Park was created in 1730 and is believed to be called the Serpentine because of its shape (but as there is only one bend, it might be because of its colour). Nails Inc have a nail polish called Serpentine in case you want to paint your nails thematically.
And don’t forget the Serpentine Gallery where you can see modern and contempoary art seven days a week for free.
Rattlesnake of Angel is new bar on Upper Street with live music for you to shake it to if you are that way inclined.
A Neck Snake
It’s common practice to put a snake around your neck to hold it but this is next level. This necklace from the 1800s on show at the Science Museum is made up of snake vertebrae threaded together by string. If you fancy something a little less gross Liberty has this beautiful rose gold Kismet snake necklace.
The Chinatown annual parade, celebrations and fireworks are all set for this Sunday 10th . See Timeout’s guide to Chinese New Year in London for more details on times and locations.