Chinese New Year 2019 is here and there are 15 days of festivities.

Expect to hear such greetings as Kung Hei Fat Choy (Cantonese for 'Wishing you prosperity') and Sun Lin Fai Lok (Cantonese for 'Happy New Year').

In Birmingham, the main festivities for Chinese New Year take place every year in Chinatown, in the Southside area of the city.

This year's Birmingham celebrations are on Sunday, February 10, a few days after the new year date itself on Tuesday, February 5 that sees the arrival of the Year of the Pig.

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, is the most important festival within Chinese culture.

The main Birmingham event in Chinatown - taking place across two stages as well as at the Hippodrome theatre, the Patrick Studio in Thorp Street, and in the streets themselves - will see thousands of people enjoy performances of music, dancing, singing and martial arts, plus food, firecrackers and workshops for calligraphy, puppet-making and origami.

All that fun and festivity means road closures, especially with roaming acts such as the Inge Street lion dance and Hurst Street dragon dance.

Here's what you need to know.

What are the road closures for Chinese New Year 2019?

Dragon dancing at Birmingham Airport on the first day of Chinese New Year 2019
Dragon dancing at Birmingham Airport on the first day of Chinese New Year 2019
 

Inge Street and also Hurst Street - up as far as the  Tesco Express  - will be closed from 6am to 8pm on Sunday, February 10. Thorp Street remains open.

Motorists are encouraged to plan alternative routes as the area will become very congested.

In previous years, road closures were more extensive but part of Ladywell Walk and Hurst Street have been permanently closed to traffic and pedestrianised.

The main stage for the Chinese New Year festivities is within the pedestrian area on Hurst Street.

What's the travel advice from organisers?

Dancers at HSBC in Birmingham on the first day of Chinese New Year 2019
Dancers at HSBC in Birmingham on the first day of Chinese New Year 2019
 

Chinese New Year Festival committee chairman James Wong said: "The main road closures are Hurst Street and Inge Street but people need to be aware there are also other unrelated restrictions in the area such as roadworks in Sherlock Street.

"My advice is to use public transport. In Chinatown, there is restricted parking nowadays because many of the open-air car parks are being redeveloped. There is the Arcadian car park right near the festivities but that will soon fill up in the morning.

"People attending the celebrations should try to park a bit further out or, better still, come in by bus or rail. We're only a short walk down from Birmingham New Street train station."

What Birmingham City Council said

Chinese New Year revellers bring a dragon dance to the arrivals hall at Birmingham Airport, which is sponsoring the celebrations in association with Birmingham City Football Club
Chinese New Year revellers bring a dragon dance to the arrivals hall at Birmingham Airport, which is sponsoring the celebrations in association with Birmingham City Football Club
 

Birmingham City Council has advised people that roads in the city will be busy from February 8 to 10 because of festivities throughout the city.

February 8 sees Chinese New Year celebrations near Birmingham Cathedral and on February 9 there will be celebrations at Bullring and Grand Central.

Dancers perform to an audience of HSBC staff in Birmingham on the first day of Chinese New Year 2019
Dancers perform to an audience of HSBC staff in Birmingham on the first day of Chinese New Year 2019

A city council spokesman said: "Chinese New Year celebrations are Birmingham at its best. Three days of celebration in the heart of our city, with performances from dancers and acrobats, markets stalls, family crafts, a fun fair, and the incredible parade of lion and dragon dancers through Bullring and Grand Central.

"Lots of visitors are expected, especially on Saturday, February 9, so the roads are likely to be busy. Try to avoid driving into the city centre if at all possible; there are convenient bus, rail and metro services from across Birmingham and the West Midlands.

"Plan your journey at  www.networkwestmidlands.com .

Below, Chung Ying's secret Chinese menu:

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The council spokesman added: "If you’re travelling in a group, there are some great  group ticket offers  available, and remember that season ticket holders can add friends and family members for as little as £1 on the  bus  or  train .

"If you have no choice but to drive, think carefully about which car park you use – the closest facilities are also likely to be the busiest and you may get stuck in traffic when arriving and leaving.

"We recommend using car parks further from the busier shopping area and walking to the Bullring and Grand Central – a good boost to your step count for the day."