England

Chinese New Year: England welcomes the Year of the Rat

Dragon in London parade Image copyright PA Media
Image caption London's celebrations began with a parade followed by events in Trafalgar Square

Performers and acrobats, flying dragons and dancing lions have been helping thousands celebrate Chinese New Year.

Events are being held in several city centres in England to welcome the Year of the Rat, which fell on Saturday.

London held what organisers claim was the largest celebrations outside of Asia, while Liverpool's took place in Europe's oldest Chinatown.

Manchester's dragon parade featured a 175ft long (53m) dragon which was accompanied by lion and ribbon dancers.

Up to 30,000 people are expected to attend festivities in Birmingham.

Birmingham event
Image caption Events marking Chinese New Year have been held for the past three days in Birmingham
Performer at London parade Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Numerous dragons could be spotted in city centres across the country
Performer at London parade Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A lion dance took place in Trafalgar Square
Dragon in London parade Image copyright AFP
Image caption The capital claims to hold the biggest Chinese New Year event outside of Asia
Bristol event Image copyright Colin Moody
Image caption Celebrations were held in Wapping Wharf in Bristol
Performer at London parade Image copyright AFP
Image caption Traditional fan and umbrella dances featured in some celebrations
Parade in Liverpool
Image caption Thousands of spectators gathered in Liverpool's Chinatown
Manchester parade
Image caption Manchester's parade featured a 175ft long (53m) dragon
People wearing masks at London celebrations Image copyright AFP
Image caption Some people wore facemasks at the celebrations in London
Liverpool celebrations
Image caption Liverpool's lions had to contend with rain
Birmingham event
Image caption Each year in the Chinese calendar is represented by one of the 12 animals
Bristol event Image copyright Colin Moody
Image caption Like in many cities, Lions roamed the streets of Bristol
Bristol event Image copyright Colin Moody
Image caption Chinese New Year is also known as Spring Festival and Lunar New Year
Performer at London parade Image copyright AFP
Image caption Chinese New Year fell on 25 January

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