Dragons dance through Gunwharf Quays in celebration of Chinese New Year

A PORTSMOUTH shopping hub came alive with the sights and sounds of Chinese New Year as it threw two afternoons of festivities.

Saturday, 1st February 2020, 6:16 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd February 2020, 2:51 pm

Hundreds of visitors at Gunwharf Quays stopped to watch as people dressed as a trio of Chinese dragons roamed the centre on Saturday and Sunday.

The spectacle began in the main square, before performers did the rounds and stopped outside a handful of stores where shoppers were handed red envelopes containing discounts.

The fun was serenaded by the powerful beat of Chinese drums and cymbals played in sync with each dragon’s movements.

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Chinese New Year celebration at Gunwharf Quays. Picture Ian Hargreaves (020220-2)

Peter Milner, from Rugby, watched on as performers meandered through Gunwharf’s main square on Saturday.

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The 46-year-old, accompanied by his daughter Etta, seven and Elijah, four, said: ‘My kids have talked about this in school and until now they had never seen it before. But when they did, they loved it.

‘In general it’s good to experience other people's cultures and enjoy them.’

Ron Cunningham, 61, who travelled to the centre from Brighton with his wife, added: ‘This is brilliant.

‘The colour and the vibrance of it all is so fresh.’

Yvonne Clay, senior marketing manager at Gunwharf Quays, said: ‘Chinese New Year is a wonderful opportunity for us to bring both our local and international community together.

‘The demonstrations and displays over this weekend will give all our visitors a chance to be involved in the festivities, and they may even get lucky and score some extra discounts in one of our red envelopes.’

Chinese New Year officially fell on January 25, marking the Year of the Rat.

It is the repeating 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac, constituting part of the Chinese calendar system.