IT may be the year of the Snake in 2013, but it was a lion that was turning heads around the city.

Winchester marked the most important date in the Chinese calendar last week with lion dancers in the street and celebrations at the university.

Festivities got under way on Wednesday morning (February 13) with a performance from the Yi Quin Lion Dance Club at the main campus.

Later students and staff enjoyed Chinese and Japanese food. Guest of honour was the newly-appointed deputy vice-chancellor, Professor Neil Marriott.

A student in a Chinese God of fortune costume was also on hand to give out chocolate coins.

At the Buttercross shoppers stopped to take in the spectacle organised by Anita Hui, manager of restaurant Tanoshii Fusion.

She and her colleagues were raising money for cancer charity CLIC Sergeant.

“It went really well. The children loved it and we gave out lots of fortune cookies. We're hoping to get lots more businesses involved next year too,” she said.

Chinese New Year, sometimes called Spring Festival or lunar New Year, begins on the day of the new moon - the first day of the first month of the year according to the Chinese calendar.

It ends on the full moon 15 days later, culminating in a lantern festival.

The New Year in 2013 began on February 10 and will end on February 24.