Londoners have welcomed in the Chinese New Year of the Pig with colourful celebrations in the city centre.
Thousands of people lined the streets of the West End of
Crowds braved the wet weather to be entertained by dancers, musicians and performers in traditional dress.
The dragon at the head of the parade as performers make their way through Soho much to the enjoyment of the huge crowd
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan claimed the new year celebrations in the city were the largest anywhere outside of Asia.
‘Londoners of Chinese origin have been contributing towards our city for decades, contributing economically, socially and culturally,’ he said.
‘They make a massive contribution to our city being the greatest city in the world.’
Chinese and British dignitaries, including the mayor, gathered on a stage in Trafalgar Square to give speeches, join in a traditional ceremony and watch an acrobatic flying lions performance.
The new year is a two-week festival which began officially on 5th February and this year celebrates the of the Pig.
Sadiq Khan with Chinese Dignitaries as the Chinese New Year festival reaches Trafalgar Square for further performances
Women dressed in traditional costume with oil-paper umbrellas during the Chinese new year parade today in London
Performers on stage during London’s Chinese New Year celebrations, in Trafalgar Square
Crowds stand in the rain at Trafalgar Square during the Chinese new year parade. Sadiq Khan said it was biggest outside Asia
Crowds braved the wet weather to be entertained by dancers, musicians and performers in traditional dress
Pupils from the Gravesend Riverview Junior School dressed in Lion costumes during the Chinese new year parade today
The new year is a two-week festival which began officially on 5th February and this year celebrates the of the Pig
Performers taking part in a parade involving costumes, lion dances and floats, during Chinese New Year celebrations
‘Londoners of Chinese origin have been contributing towards our city for decades,’ said London’s Mayor
Performers who appear to be dressed in traditional Hmong clothing pose for a selfie. Hmong are ancient peoples from the Yellow River region of China
Performers react as they take part in the Chinese Lunar New Year parade through central London
People dressed in cartoon animal costumes dance during the Chinese new year parade
People dress as the giant panda, also known as panda bear or simply panda, its a bear famously native to south central China
A Lion dance is performed during the Chinese new year parade. It’s performed for good luck, as it is believed that the lion is an auspicious animal
The Pig is the twelfth of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. Pictured are festival performers
Man dresses in a Pai Mei (also known as Bak Mei) styled costume. Mei is a fictional Chinese character that is one of five elders
Traditional Qing dynasty style gate in London’s Chinatown with revellers in the foreground, it’s the largest Chinese gate in the country
A woman in the crowd reading a Chinese newspaper during London’s Chinese New Year celebrations in Trafalgar Square
The Right Worshipful Lord Mayor of Westminster – Councillor Lindsey Hall poses for a photo during the festivities
Pictured last week, lanterns are carried through the streets in preparation for the Chinese New Year festivities