THE Year of the Snake has been the focus of attention and celebration in the borough as the Chinese new year gets underway.

Last Sunday, Pamela Cheng, proprietor of the Mayflower Chinese Restaurant, in Basing-stoke, wished diners at the packed restaurant in May Place, a very happy Chinese New Year.

A traditional lion dance was performed inside the popular restaurant by the World Eagle Claw Kung Fu Association Lion Dance Team.

Mrs Cheng joined diners in offering the lion Lai See – Lucky Money.

She said: “I think it was a brilliant day and everyone in the restaurant enjoyed it.

“The Year of the Snake will be a good year. I think it’s going to be a smooth year, but with hard work.

“People should focus on what they are trying to achieve and they will get there.”

Meanwhile, on Monday an elaborate Chinese dragon weaved its way around the aisles of Tesco supermarket at Chineham Shopping Centre.

The colourful procession, accompanied with drums, was performed by pupils from nearby Great Binfields Primary School.

Headteacher Simon Cushing said it was the third time Tesco has invited the school and its Chinese dragon to mark the new year.

Back in 2009, the dragon was purchased from an online auction site e-bay for £10.46 after pupils learned about Chinese culture.

When Tesco’s community champion Julie Shepherd heard of the dragon, she invited the school to mark to mark the event at the supermarket.

Mr Cushing said the Year 5 and Year 6 children enjoyed their visit to Tesco and Chineham Shopping Centre.

He said: “It was a treat for them to come out of school and I think they enjoyed some of the attention they generated from shoppers.”