SOUTHAMPTON'S Chinese New Year celebrations will finish with a dazzling display of lights and lanterns on February 8.

The Southampton Lantern Festival Parade will end the Year of the Rat celebrations in a reimagining of a traditional procession.

A collection of luminous Lions, lanterns and a Dragon will parade through Southampton High Street from the Bargate.

The visual feast will culminate at Guildhall Square when the parade will be in full flow.

Councillor Satvir Kaur, Cabinet Member for Homes and Culture, said:

"Southampton is the place where something is always happening.

"There is strength in our diversity as a city and it is great we can bring communities together to celebrate festivals like Chinese New Year.

"The Lantern Festival is an exciting addition to our packed calendar, with many local children taking part in the parade.

"I hope local families and visitors take full advantage and get involved, I know I will be."

The festival has been organised in a collaborative effort between Southampton City Council, the Chinese Association of Southampton and the Confucius Institute, which is a part of the University of Southampton.

The Founder of the Southampton based UK Shaolin Temple, Shi Yan Min, said:

"Chinese New Year celebrations are typically full of light and colour - a real feast for the senses.

"The Lantern Parade will be the first of its kind in Southampton and it’s going to be a great event to enjoy with your family and friends."

The parade is scheduled to start at 3.30pm, weather permitting, from the Bargate, finishing at 7pm at the Guildhall Square.

The event is free to attend and bookings can be made via Eventbrite.