The Chinese community in Brighton and Hove celebrated the lunar new year – the start of the year of the dragon – with a mix of Chinese food, drink and culture.
The event was organised by the Chinese Educational Development Project (CEDP) and attended by hundreds of members and supporters – and the mayor of Brighton and Hove, Councillor Jackie O’Quinn.
The mayor said: “I was born in the year of the dragon so I’m very glad to be here to welcome the year of the dragon.”
She was welcomed by the CEDP chair of trustees Hong Lu who was recognised in the honours list nine years ago when she was made an OBE.
As well as traditional poetry, songs and music – and kung fu – there were conventional “big skirt” Chinese dancers and a lively dragon dance.
The mayor said: “I’m delighted to be here with you all to celebrate the Chinese new year – and the work that the Chinese Educational Development Project undertakes here in our city.
“The CEDP has been working hard to bring a spectacular cultural show to residents in Brighton and Hove today.
“The rich and diverse Chinese diaspora forms an integral part of our local community. This has enabled us to learn and develop interests in Chinese customs, food, language and the arts – many of which will be celebrated this afternoon.
“The CEDP Chinese Centre plays a vital role in maintaining and sharing these cultural learnings and traditions in the city.
“Today, representatives from local organisations and community groups are joining us. And we will be treated to a spectacular cultural show.
“There will also be a variety of festive food and interactive activities for you all to try – including a raffle! All funds raised today will be used to support the weekly free wellbeing workshops that the CEDP hosts.
“As we mark the lunar new year of the dragon – symbolising power, strength and good fortune – on Saturday 10 February, it is a time to celebrate as well as a time to reflect – to acknowledge the generations that have come before us.
“I wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year and I look forward to celebrating with you.”
The event was held at the BMECP (Black and Minority Ethnic Community Partnership) Centre, in Fleet Street, Brighton, last Saturday (3 February).