Birmingham & Black Country

Chinese New Year festivities brighten streets of Birmingham

Chinese lion dancers inside a Birmingham office building
Image caption A Chinese lion will be a familiar sight on the streets of Birmingham on Friday, Saturday and Sunday

The rain may have been lashing down, but the streets of Birmingham were awash with colour as the city's Chinese New Year celebrations began.

Up to 40,000 visitors are expected in the city over three days to welcome the Year of the Pig.

And the festivities kicked off earlier with a parade through the city's Colmore Business District.

A Chinese lion head protected from rain
Image caption The Chinese lion head, made from papier mache, was covered in plastic to protect it from the rain
The Chinese lion team in Birmingham
Image caption The Chinese lion team returned to St Philip's Cathedral for a lunchtime concert
The Chinese lion team arrive at St Philip's
Image caption The concert at St Philip's marked the start of three days of celebrations

A special concert was then held at St Philip's Cathedral with performances by Birmingham Conservatoire and Dans Dance Company.

"This year's programme is hugely exciting and diverse, and will see us working with all our partners to bring Chinese New Year to places and spaces across the city," said James Wong, chairman of Birmingham's Chinese Festival Committee.

"We are very proud of our heritage in bringing this unique and unforgettable spectacle to life."

Chinese music soloist at St Philip's Cathedral
Image caption A Birmingham Conservatoire performance of Chinese music at St Philip's Cathedral
Dans Dance Company perfomers
Image caption Traditional Chinese dance from Dans Dance Company
Dans Dance Company perfomers
Image caption Chinese performers will entertain people in Birmingham across three days
A Chinese lion in Newhall Street
Image caption Up to 40,000 visitors are expected in Birmingham over the weekend

Celebrations continue on Saturday in the city centre, with a parade of lion and dragon dancers through Bullring and Grand Central.

Shoppers will also be entertained by acrobatic displays and martial arts from Shaolin Warriors.

On Sunday, the Chinese New Year celebrations will continue in the city's Chinatown area near to Birmingham Hippodrome.

The Hippodrome is staging a series of free performances in The Patrick Studio, including music, dance and spoken word.

The pig, one of 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac, is believed to be a symbol of optimism, enthusiasm and hard work.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites