Birmingham’s Chinese New Year

By on 22/01/2014 in Culture, Leader, News
This year's Chinese New Year celebrations on Sunday 2 February have had the organising committee jumping over hurdles so that Birmingham can welcome in the Year of the Horse with an afternoon of free entertainment at the Arcadian Centre.
Cllr Sir Albert Bore

Cllr Sir Albert Bore

The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Mike Leddy, and the Leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr Sir Albert Bore, will mark the start of the celebration with the traditional ceremony of dotting the lion's eyes.  Kung fu, Chinese music, traditional Chinese dance and Dragon dances are just some of the cultural entertainment that will be on offer between 12.30pm and 5.30pm when the afternoon will finish with the final appearance of the Lion Dance and a short firework display.

In addition to performances within the Arcadian Centre, there will be market stalls, food and children's rides in Hurst Street from 11.30am to 5pm, which will be closed to traffic from 7am to 7pm.

The Year of the Horse is the seventh of the twelve Chinese zodiac signs. People that are born in the Year of the Horse are said to be clever, kind to others and active at work.  They are also said to be popular among friends and always want to be in the limelight.  Famous people born under this sign include Sir Isaac Newton, Barbra Streisand, Chopin, Paul McCartney and Oprah Winfrey.

Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “It gives me great pleasure to join our Lord Mayor, Cllr Mike Leddy, in dotting the lion's eyes at the start of this year's celebrations.  Everyone is invited to come along and enjoy a fantastic afternoon of free entertainment as we join the Chinese community and mark the Chinese New Year.”

Jeffrey Yap from the Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee added: “This year's event has even more on offer with around 20 groups taking part, each showcasing a different aspect of Chinese culture.  We hope local people and visitors from across the region will join us as we welcome in the New Year.”

The New Year is the longest festival in the Chinese calendar, and is celebrated on the first new moon of the year.  Traditionally people prepare by cleaning the house from top to bottom to sweep away any bad luck from the previous year - cleaning after New Year's Eve is seen as very unlucky.  On New Year's Day itself, red is often worn to ward off evil, and children can look forward to lucky red envelopes containing money.

The celebrations are organised by the Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee in partnership with Birmingham City Council and supported by other partners and sponsors including the main sponsor, Lebara. 

For the full programme visit http://www.cnybirmingham.org.uk/  or call 0121 707 4355.

-Ends-

For further media information contact Debbie Harrison on 0121 303 4476 / 078801 80385  

Notes to Editor:

Road closures - Hurst Street will be closed to traffic between Inge Street and Bromsgrove Street during the festival, effective from 7am to 7pm on Sunday 2 February.

The programme at Arcadian Centre is as follows:

12:30              Waking of the Lions
12:45              Speeches
13:15              Mongolian Group Dance  (Overseas Chinese Association School)
13:21              Fan Dance  (Birmingham Chinese School)
13:26              God of Wealth, Money Money Money  (Birmingham Chinese Women Association)
13:34              Flower Basket Dance  (Birmingham Chinese Society Dancing Group)
13:44              Tian Mi Mi  (Chinese Community Centre Birmingham - Suet Fun Chung)
13:47              Kung Fu Sword  (Yang Tai Chi School)
13:52              Dunhuang Dance : Thousand Handed Buddha  (Wanlin Dance Troupe)
13:59              A Trio Modern Dance  (Overseas Chinese Association School)
14:06              Tai Chi Sword  (Birmingham Chinese School - Yanyan Yang)
14:11              Good Wishes  (Birmingham Chinese Karaoke Group)
14:16              Good Fortune  (Chinese Community Centre - Birmingham)
14:20              Happy Year after Year (Birmingham Chinese Women Association)
14:44              Children Singing  (Overseas Chinese Association School)
14:49              Parasol Dance : Rainy Alley in a Small Town  (Wanlin Dance Troupe)
14:56              Tibetan Dance  (Birmingham Chinese Society Dancing Group)
15:03              Welcome the Blossom of Spring  (Birmingham Chinese Women Association)
15:06              Xinjiang Dance  (Chinese Community Centre - Birmingham)
15:11              Yang Tai Chi Quan  (Yang Tai Chi School)
15:19              Melody of China  (Chinese Youth Violin Performance)
15:29              Xinjiang Dance : Scarlet Flowers  (Wanlin Dance Troupe)
15:34              Xi Feng  (Chinese Community Centre Birmingham - Suet Fun Chung & Lianxiang Deng)
15:38              Tai Chi Kong Fu Fan  (Yang Tai Chi School)
15:46              Fan Dance : Spring Blossoms on Moonlit River  (Wanlin Dance Troupe)
15:51              Riverside Town in Dream  (Chinese Community Centre - Birmingham)
15:56              Singing  (Stella Wan)
16:06              Kung Fu Dao  (Yang Tai Chi School)
16:16              Wudang Fist  (Wanlin Dance Troupe - Pablo Salas Vazquez)
16:19              Nearu Martial Arts Performance  (Nearu Martial Arts School)
16:29              Jian Kang Ge; Tao Hua Duo Duo Kai  (Robin Hood School)
16:36              Wudang Sword  (Wanlin Dance Troupe - Wanlin Steele and Pablo Salas Vazquez)
16:40              Chun Xiao; Xin Nian Hao Ya; Yi Shan Yi Shan Liang Jin Jin  (Robin Hood School)
16:50              Nearu Martial Arts Performance  (Nearu Martial Arts School)
17:00              Final Appearance of the Lion Dance  (Choy Lee Fut Kong Fu Academy)
17:20              Fireworks
17:30              Close

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