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Chinese New Year 2014 celebrations in Kent

Chinese New Year parade in Chatham
Chinese New Year parade in Chatham

Get ready to party! The Chinese New Year starts on Friday, January 31, and celebrations are being held around the county to mark the occasion.

The town’s annual Chinese New Year parade is one of the largest in Britain.

Featuring dragons, lion and unicorn dancers and dozens of local residents in costume, it will be setting off from noon on Sunday, February 9, in Chatham High Street.

Authentic Chinese cuisine will be on offer at the Ramada Hotel on Friday, January 31.

It is hosting an oriental buffet in celebration of the Chinese New Year, and the evening will also feature a disco and fireworks. Admission is £24.95. Call 01304 821230.

Gravesham council is marking Chinese New Year for the first time with a special lion parade and Chinese entertainment on Tuesday, February 4.

At 11am, a school parade led by a Chinese lion from the Shaolin Way group will process from Community Square to the top of Windmill Street, visiting two local businesses to receive traditional green leaves.

Entertainment will then follow at the Woodville Halls from 11.30am, including Chinese martial arts, singing, dancing and music.

Chinese New Year celebrations in Maidstone's Jubilee Square
Chinese New Year celebrations in Maidstone's Jubilee Square

Celebrations will be taking place in the County Town on Saturday, February 1. The fun starts on the Fremlin Walk bandstand at noon, when the Mayor will perform the dotting of the eyes ceremony to awaken the Chinese Lion, which will then prowl the town.

From 12.30pm to 4.30pm there will be a programme of entertainment in Jubilee Square, including Chinese opera, face painting, traditional Chinese dancers and musicians, calligraphy, Kung Fu displays and performances by Dance Dynamics and the Melody Marshall School of Dance.

Celebrate Chinese New Year
Celebrate Chinese New Year

At 3.30pm local artist Graham Clarke will choose and announce the winners of the schools painting competition at Maidstone Museum. Events are brought to a close in kalaRED bar and restaurant at 7pm, when there will be a Chinese lion performance followed by a New Year banquet.

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