Capital rings in Year of the Snake

23:14, Feb 24 2013
Chinese new year
A child dressed in a traditional lion costume during the parade.
Chinese new year
Dragon dancers perform their way up Courtenay Place.
Chinese new year
A man cooks up dumplings aplenty.
Chinese new year
The Chinese Operatic Society's float during the parade.
Chinese new year
The parade makes its way through throngs of onlookers at the waterfront.
Chinese new year
Women in traditional Chinese dress on the lead float of the parade.
Chinese new year
The Chinese New Year fireworks go off over Wellington.
Chinese new year
The Chinese New Year begins with a bang with fireworks over Wellington.

Performances, a parade and a fireworks show marked the beginning of the Chinese New Year in Wellington yesterday.

The festivities marked the end of two weeks of celebrations to welcome in the Year of the Snake. More than 5000 people are estimated to have attended performances at Frank Kitts Park. 

''I've never seen it so full,'' said Linda Lim, of the Asian Events Trust, which organised yesterday's festivities in association with the Wellington City Council.

This year's celebrations were not quite as auspicious as last year's Year of the Dragon.

Whereas dragon years are considered lucky, the past two snake years have included 2001, the year of the 9/11 attacks, and 1989, when the Chinese army opened fire on protesters at Tiananmen Square.

However, Linda Lim said this time around the snake should be better behaved.

"Because we have a water snake this time, it might be more serene, more peaceful."

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