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London Hong Kong Dragon Boat race

The colourful and fiery Hong Kong Dragon Boat charity Race is in the capital again.

32 teams will compete for four trophies at the London Regatta Centre in the Docklands.

10,000 people are expected to attend.

Four trophies are up for grabs Credit: ITN

It's the second largest date in the Chinese cultural calendar, after Chinese New Year.

The free festival takes place at the London Regatta Centre in the Docklands. They'll also be a food festival, live music, martial arts displays and traditional lion dancing.

They'll be a food festival, live music and traditional lion dancing. Credit: Reuters

The competition originates along the banks of the Yangtze River in ancient southern central China and is steeped in 2,500 years of history.

London celebrates the Chinese New Year

Thousands of people have converged on London's Chinatown to celebrate the Chinese New Year. To mark the Year of the Horse, a vibrant parade of dancers, entertainers and martial arts participants made its way through the West End to Chinatown.

Trafalgar Square was home to a number of dancing and acrobatic performances. Londoners also had the chance to try a wide range of Chinese food at market stalls.

Chinese New Year celebrations

Chinese New year celebrations

Chinese New Year begins today and is expected to see large crowds heading to central London to welcome the Year of the Snake. The largest outside Asia, the free event attracts Londoners and tourists alike with a lively and colourful showcase of Chinese culture.

Celebrations begin at 10am with a parade and will culminate with an afternoon of festivities in Trafalgar Square, Shaftesbury Avenue and Chinatown.

Attractions will include the traditional lion dance, music, and acrobats and performers from the UK and China, including Guangdong and Sichuan provinces.

Amongst the highlights will be two headlining sets by singer-songwriter Emmy the Great. The Hong Kong born, London-based musician, who has worked with the likes of Florence Welch, Lightspeed Champion, Ash and Noah and the Whale, will play live on the main stage in Trafalgar Square.

Mayor Boris Johnson said today: 'Our Chinese New Year celebrations will be without doubt an early highlight of 2013. The Year of the Snake is about change, but it is also about achievement and innovation - fitting attributes for a city like London.


Guide dog awareness event in Chinatown

Research for Guide Dogs for the Blind has found that blind people and their dogs are often turned away from businesses in London's Chinatown, because of a lack of understanding about what the dogs do.

To tackle this a team from Guide Dogs for the Blind will be out and about in Chinatown this lunchtime to raise awareness.

Guide dogs, their owners, and volunteers will be on Gerrard Street from 12:00 to 14:30 walking round the area with information about guide dogs, and giving people the opportunity to have blindfold walks to experience what it might be like for a blind person.

Our London Olympics - the view from Chinatown

Whether you've caught Olympic fever or not, there's no escaping the excitement in the Capital at the moment. But as the Olympic Park laps up well-deserved glory, have have you stopped to consider the Olympics from the Chinatown viewpoint?

Darren Wee is a promising young journalist who has done just that. He was chosen from a group of talented young journalists to work with ITN and the Guardian to produce a piece on the Olympics.

It is all part of the 'Our London Olympics' project, which provides aspiring athletes with training, mentors, work experience and job opportunities. The project also gives students from under represented backgrounds the chance to report on and around the Olympics.