HUNDREDS of people flocked to a colourful display of dragons, dancing and martial arts as Chinese New Year celebrations returned to Southampton.

Dancers and martial arts experts were staging performances in the lower floor of WestQuay shopping centre to mark what is the Year of the Sheep or Goat.

Watching on from the balconies, shoppers enjoyed 12 performances, including a lion and dragon dance as well as a martial arts display by UK Shaolin Temple.

They were also treated to a Chinese folk song, traditional dance, brush painting, the ancient art of face changing and an ancient Chinese clothes display.

This year’s celebrations come a year after they were cancelled.

Organisers the Chinese Association of Southampton said it could not afford to hold it because of lack of cash after Southampton City Council slashed the group’s grant.