Chinese New Year in the capital

London is set to host its annual Chinese New Year celebrations next month.

The capital holds one of the biggest Chinese New Year parties outside of Asia and will host a number of events ideal for those staying in central London hotels.

In 2013, the Year of the Snake will begin at 10.15am on February 10th, according to the lunar and solar calendars.

The morning will see a parade from the city's West End to Trafalgar Square, which will feature a number of colourful floats complete with musicians and dancers as well as traditional Chinese dragons.

One of the highlights of the procession is the annual lion dance, which works its way through the streets and stops at various businesses to wish their owners a prosperous 12 months.

There will also be plenty of stalls lining the route offering a range of traditional Chinese food to get people in the mood.

Once the procession reaches Trafalgar Square, there will be an opening celebration with around 100 performers and a number of special guests. Past years have included displays by Chinese hip-hop dancers and traditional singers.

Both the mayor of London and the president of Chinatown will be taking part in the Dotting of the Eye ceremony and the day will end with a spectacular fireworks display at 5.40pm.

London's Chinatown area can be found just off Shaftesbury Avenue and is home to more than 80 restaurants that offer some of the finest and most authentic Asian cuisine in the country. The nearest London Underground stations to the area are Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus.

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