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Parade of colour brings in Chinese New Year in city

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GUNWHARF Quays was transformed into a spectacle of colour as Chinese lions paraded through to mark the New Year.

The annual event saw hundreds turn out to welcome in the Chinese New Year.

The South Wing Chun UK group performed the Chinese Lion Dance through the shopping centre and it culminated in a performance in the central square.

John Sackett, events manager at Gunwharf Quays, said: ‘It’s incredibly visual. It heralds the start of the Chinese New Year but in a way it’s the start of a year for us as well.

‘We have got a good-sized Chinese community in Portsmouth which is growing because of the university.

‘It’s a colourful occasion. People love it because it’s so visual.

‘It’s great to be able to put on a festival that works well with what we are about which isn’t just a retail destination, we always put events on.’

Mr Sackett said the event, which is in its seventh year, proved a huge success.

‘Everyone loves the Chinese lions because they are so fun,’ he said.

‘They appeal to children so families love it.

‘The Chinese New Year is one of the most colourful, cultural celebrations around.

‘The Chinese community is now part of our community. People are more interested now.’

Celebrations were held all day yesterday with two processions and some martial arts performances too.

Mave Ash, 45, from Edgeware Road in Milton, brought along her six-year-old daughter Lola.

Mave said: ‘It was wonderful. I wanted to come here to bring in the New Year. It’s the first time we’ve been. It was spectacular.’

Lorraine Brundish, 66, from North End added: ‘I come every single year. I collect Chinese and Japanese things. It was brilliant. It’s amazing. There is so much put into everything that they do. And they are so artistic about everything.’

 

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