Enter the Dragon at Chinese New Year

By on 27/01/2012 in Culture, News

This year's Chinese New Year celebrations on Sunday 29 January will be a roaring success as Birmingham welcomes in the Year of the Dragon with an afternoon of free entertainment at the Arcadian Centre.

The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Anita Ward, and the Leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr Mike Whitby, will mark the start of the celebration with the traditional ceremony of dotting the dragon's eyes, followed by an exciting dragon and lion dance and traditional Chinese firecrackers.  Dragon dances, acrobatics, kung fu and karaoke are just some of the cultural entertainment that will be on offer between 12.30pm and 5.30pm when the afternoon will finish with 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-5pm, which will be closed to traffic from 7am to 7pm. There will also be a special children's programme offering magic and children's dances from 1-2pm and 3-4pm in The Patrick Centre at Birmingham Hippodrome.  Entry to the children's free programme is by ticket only and limited to 250 per performance.

The Year of the Dragon is the fifth of the twelve Chinese zodiac signs. People that are born in the Year of the Dragon are said to be free spirited, dominant, ambitious, driven, unafraid of challenges and risk takers.  Famous people born under this sign include Al Pacino, Salvador Dali, Joan of Arc and Bruce Lee!

Birmingham City Council's Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport & Culture, Cllr Martin Mullaney, said: “This year's event promises some spectacular free entertainment.  We invite people of all ages and backgrounds to come together and celebrate the Chinese New Year.”

Jeffrey Yap from the Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee added, “There is something for everyone at Birmingham's Chinese New Year celebrations.  Please join with 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 with support from Birmingham City Council and other partners and sponsors.  For the full programme visit www.cnybirmingham.org.uk  or call 0121 685 8510.

Ends

Media contact: Debbie Harrison  0121 303 4476  debbie.harrison@birmingham.gov.uk

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 29 January.

The programme at Arcadian Centre is as follows:

  • 12:30                Entrance of the Dragon Dance and Fireworks (Choy Lee Kung Fu Academy)
  • 12:45                Speeches
  • 12:50                Welcoming the Chinese God of Wealth (Birmingham Chinese Women's Association)
  • 12:55                Children's Dances (Overseas Chinese Association School)
  • 13:00                Chinese Musical Instrumental Performance
  • 13:20                Children's Dances (The Birmingham Chinese School)
  • 13:25                Chinese Karaoke Performance - Chinese Songs (Birmingham Chinese Society Karaoke Group)
  • 13:30                Chinese Traditional Dance (CCCB Dance Group)
  • 13:35                Acrobatics Performance (Bai-Ling Chinese Acrobatics Co Ltd UK)
  • 14:35                Dragon Dance on Poles (Choy Lee Fut Kung Fu Academy)
  • 15:00                Acrobatics & Wushu Performance (Jin Long Chinese Martial Arts Academy)
  • 17:00                Final Appearance of the Dragon Dance (Choy Lee Fut Kung Fu Academy)
  • 17:25                Firework display
  • 17:30                Close

The programme at The Patrick Centre Birmingham Hippodrome (Thorp Street entrance) is as follows:

Free tickets to be issued at The Patrick Centre, Thorp Street (limited 250 per performance)

  • 13:00                Dragon Dance & Magic Show (Bai-Ling Chinese Acrobatics Co Ltd UK)
  • 13:30                 Children's Dragon Dances (Overseas Chinese Association School)
  • 13:35                Chinese Music Gu Zheng (Birmingham Chinese Society)
  • 13:40                Children's Dances (Overseas Chinese Association School)
  • 13:45                Chinese Traditional Dance (CCCB Dance Group)
  • 13:50                Tai Chi Ku Fung Fan (The Birmingham Chinese School)
  • 13:55                Children's Dances (The Birmingham Chinese School)
  • 14:00                Close
  • 15:00                Dragon Dance & Magic Show (Bai-Ling Chinese Acrobatics Co Ltd UK)
  • 15:30                 Children's Dragon Dances (Overseas Chinese Association School)
  • 15:35                Chinese Music Gu Zheng (Birmingham Chinese Society)
  • 15:40                Children's Dances (Overseas Chinese Association School)
  • 15:45                Chinese Traditional Dance (CCCB Dance Group)
  • 15:50                Tai Chi Ku Fung Fan (The Birmingham Chinese School)
  • 15:55                Children's Dances (The Birmingham Chinese School)
  • 16:00                Close

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