London welcomes Year of the Rabbit at Chinese New Year

Thousands of people have lined the streets of London to welcome in the Year of the Rabbit at the capital's annual Chinese New Year celebrations.

Dancers and dragons joined a parade around Chinatown before performers took to the stage in front of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square.

Martial arts displays, music shows and cultural activities were also held in streets across the West End.

The event is the biggest Chinese New Year celebration outside of Asia.

People stand by a large rabbit farm as they watch a parade during celebrations on the first day of the Lunar New Year in London

Crowds lined the streets in the West End

The Chinese New Year's parade began in Charing Cross Road and featured colourful floats, with more than 50 teams taking part in the event

People in London gathered to enjoy a colourful parade, free stage performances and traditional Chinese food

Hundreds of thousands of people descend on the West End

People wore traditional Chinese costumes to celebrate the event

Chinese New Year always falls between late January and mid-February