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Midlands' Chinese New Year events

Chinese New Year celebrations today Credit: Soeren Stache/DPA/Press Association Images

The Year of the Horse will be welcomed in with events across the Midlands.

At Nottingham University's Confucius Institute people can try traditional Chinese arts like paper cutting and paper folding, brush painting and calligraphy.

Traditional celebrations Credit: DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press/Press Association Images

There will also be Tai-Chi demonstrations and workshops and a local storyteller will be telling some traditional folk tales from China.

New Year celebrations Credit: PAUL MILLER/AAP/Press Association Images

In Birmingham there will be a Lion Dance and a Martial Arts demonstration around the Arcadian Centre in the city before a fireworks display.

Welcoming in the New Year Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Chinese New Year is one of the oldest celebrated festivals in the world. The festivities traditionally last for 15 days and in China this is the main public holiday period.

Children are traditionally given red envelopes containing money and receive new clothes from their parents.

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Birmingham Mayor says Chinese New Year celebration is now 'tradition' in the city

Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr John Lines, says that weather hasn't washed the smiles off faces at the Chinese New Year celebration in Birmingham.

Welcoming in the Year of the snake, revellers packed out the city's Arcadian Centre for an afternoon of festivities.

Celebrations are expected to go on into this evening.

Birmingham ushers in the Year of the Snake

Thousands of people packed out Birmingham's Arcadian Centre today, to join in with Chinese New Year celebrations.

The event is organised by the Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee. On average, the day normally sees around 30,000 people attend the free event.

Last year's festival saw sunshine, whereas it has been a damp afternoon in Birmingham this year. Nevertheless, revellers amalgamated into one of the city's most cultural quarters to usher in the Year of the Snake.

A traditional Chinese dragon entertained the crowd this afternoon.

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Boat racing for Chinese New Year

Boat racing Credit: John Stillwell/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Anaconda paddlers will be taking part in this year's Chinese New Year celebrations in Nottingham.

Dragon boats are a traditional part of Chinese culture and date back to the 2nd Century. A poet, Qu Yuan, killed himself, by throwing himself into the Miluo River after being banished from court.

Villagers failed to save him, but to keep fish and evil spirits from his body they banged drums and beat the water with paddles.

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