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The last of the lions - fears for Maidstone's Chinese New Year celebrations

Today marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year and crowds gathered in Maidstone this lunchtime to celebrate it.

However, there are fears this could be the last time its colourful lions will be seen in the town, due to cutbacks.

Andy Dickenson reports and speaks to Chris Perkins from the Maidstone Cultural Group, Mayor Derek Butler and Kalysha Howard-Smith.

Chinese New Year celebrations mark 'Year of the Ram'

More than a thousand people have been celebrating Chinese New Year in Portsmouth.

The city's Guildhall hosted traditional Chinese events - including music, dance... and of course there was plenty of food. Richard Slee reports.



Year of the Snake celebrations

In Southampton there is a special event at 10.30am in the West Quay shopping cente. Councillor Derek Burke, mayor of Southampton, and Joe Hon, from the Chinese community, will take part in the Dian Jin ceremony, which involves painting the eye of the lion in the traditional dance.

At 1150pm women from the Chinese Association of Southampton choir will be performing in the shopping centre. There will also be a matrial arts display and a Horse Dance from the association's youth group.

  1. Andy Dickenson

Chinese New Year celebrations underway

The Chinese New Year begins tomorrow and for some, the party has already started. It is the longest and most important festival in the Chinese calendar. Events are happening across the region.

Our reporter, Andy Dickenson has been to see "the year of the snake" being ushered in, in Kent. His interviewees were Michael Lam and Morel D'Souza from the Maidstone Cultural Group.