Chinese New Year festivities brighten streets of Birmingham
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 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."
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.