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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 in Edgware

Edgware residents will be able to join in the Chinese New Year celebrations today at the Broadwalk Centre where an event is being held to mark the beginning of the Year of the Horse.

The Sai School of Harrow will be offering children the chance to try their hand at Chinese themed arts and crafts.

Visitors will can also meet Sunny the Shetland pony, Penniwells Riding for the Disable Group's mascot, as part of the 'Year of the Horse' celebrations.


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.