Maidstone celebrated the Year of the Tiger in style as hundreds braved the cold weather on Saturday 5th February. Kent Equality Cohesion Council working in partnership with Cohesion Plus, Maidstone Cultural Group, and Maidstone Borough Council arranged the first Chinese New Year celebrations since the onset of the pandemic.

The celebrations began with the dotting of the eye’s ceremony, which involved waking the Chinese Lions and was conducted by dignitaries such the Mayor of Maidstone, Cllr Faye Gooch, the Leader of the Council Cllr David Burton, Cabinet Member Cllr Martin Round as well as Gurvinder Sandher the CEO of Kent Equality Cohesion Council and Michael Lam a member of Maidstone Cultural Group and local business owner.

Gurvinder Sandher commented “I was delighted to work with Maidstone Borough Council and community partners to deliver this event. Great credit needs to be given to Maidstone Cultural Group for supporting us and sharing out vision. We all know that the last few years have been very challenging with the pandemic so it was positive that we were able to welcome in the Year of the Tiger which represents strength and the overcoming of darkness. For me along with the cultural significance, it was also important to showcase that Maidstone Town Centre is open for business and that slowly but surely, we are coming out of the other end of the pandemic.”