Saturday 2nd February 2019 was a cold, sunny day in Southampton. Perfect weather to kick off Chinese New Year Celebrations on the South Coast.

Members of the UK Shaolin Temple and volunteers helped to set the scene for a fantastic and colourful event form early morning hours.

A stage was set up on the Guildhall Square, a noodle bar provided Chinese food and the Artisan Café, Momento Brasserie, John Hansard Gallery and the NST were used for workshops, such as face painting, Chinese calligraphy, other cultural art, Kung Fu & Qi Gong & Tai Chi taster sessions on the square.

A dragon dance parade and lion dance could be seen on Southampton’s High street and in front of the West Quay entrance. Cameras and young and old people followed the dragon back to the Guildhall Square, where a colourful display of culture started around 1:00 PM.

Loud whipping noises and the beat of the Chinese drum could be heard all over the square. Followed by a dragon dance display on the square and the waking of the lion ceremony with the Mayor of Southampton, this year’s Chinese New Year Celebrations started successfully.

A two hour show full of martial arts display, Japanese drummers, Indian and hip hop dancers, as well as singers and musicians of different cultures and genres followed, showing off Southamptons diversity and talent in every way.

The UK Shaolin Temple would like to thank Southampton City Council and everyone that helped making this event happening as well as all sponsors, volunteers and performers that took part in this cultural display. We all wish you a very prosperous year of the pig and hope to bring more communities and cultures of the South together in activities for families and all citizens of Southampton.

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