This year’s celebrations to mark Chinese New Year start on Sunday February 2 with a special family event at City Hall from 12 noon – 5pm hosted by the Chinese Welfare Association NI in partnership with the NI Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
More than 1,000 people of all ages and backgrounds are expected to join in the festivities, which will feature traditional Chinese and local performers including musicians, acrobats and dancers. There will be stalls, martial arts, lion dance displays, a children’s Chinese dress competition and two shows taking place on the day – one at 12-2pm and another at 3-5pm.
The City Hall will play a central role in this year’s celebrations too with the building lit up in red and yellow from midnight Thursday 30 January until dawn on Friday 31 January and from dusk until midnight on 31 January. The interior of the building is also decorated with traditional Chinese red lanterns and various exhibitions from today until February 2.
On Monday February 3, the NI Chinese Chamber of Commerce will celebrate their annual New Year gala dinner in the Europa Hotel. There will be similar events in Craigavon and Derry- Londonderry on February 3 and 4.
The council’s Environmental Health Unit is also working with the Chinese Welfare Association to host a Chinese Cookery Demonstration at St George’s Market on Saturday 8 February (12 noon) promoting healthy eating and showing that you can still make healthy choices when enjoying a takeaway. The chef cooking at the event will be Jeremy Chan from The Sinley Takeaway in Cookstown.
Throughout Northern Ireland, schools, community groups and companies will be celebrating Chinese New Year. The Chinese Welfare Association NI will also be supporting 16 workshops on Chinese culture and traditions funded by the council’s Good Relations Unit.
Eileen Chan-Hu, Chief Executive of the Chinese Welfare Association, said: “I wish everyone all a very happy Year of the Horse, a year of success that will champion all your achievements with strength, power and courage as the horse. I’m delighted to see the enthusiasm and welcome to the Chinese community from Belfast City Council in having our guests from the Sister City of Belfast, Hefei China by celebrating Chinese New Year together. I thank all those involved across Northern Ireland to welcome us by having Chinese New Year celebrations everywhere.”
To book tickets for the public performances on Sunday 2 February at Belfast City Hall, contact the Chinese Welfare Association on 028 9028 8277, call into the Chinese Resource Centre or local Chinese supermarkets. For more information on the events being held to mark the Year of the Horse, visit www.cwa-ni.org or the Chinese Welfare Association Northern Ireland on Facebook.