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Thousands of people took to the streets in England to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Tuesday may have been the official start of the Year of the Pig but most areas saved their events until Sunday.

Flying dragons and dancing lions paraded through city centres including in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Newcastle.

In a drizzly London, performers took part in what organisers claim is the biggest celebration outside China.

Newcastle

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Newcastle’s parade travelled from Eldon Square to the Chinese Gate at Stowell Street

Child performers

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PA

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Dragons across the country came in all shapes and sizes

Birmingham

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Dancers took to a stage in Birmingham where 40,000 people were expected to attend the celebration

Pig costume

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As well as the traditional dragons, pigs also featured highly in the parades

Panda performers

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PA

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There was even room for a few pandas

London dancers

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Reuters

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The dank weather did not dampen celebrations in London where events were held across the West End and Chinatown

Manchester piglet

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PA

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A giant piglet has been overlooking St Ann’s Square in Manchester over the past week

Newcastle

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The new year festivities are always popular with children and families

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