As the Year of the Goat comes to a close, Birmingham’s Southside will once again play host to the city’s Chinese New Year celebrations as thousands of festival-goers descend on the area and welcome in the Year of the Monkey.
Taking place on Sunday 7th February between 12.30pm – 5.00pm, the 2016 celebrations will see traditional Chinese music, lion dancers, acrobats, martial artists and more take to the main stage in The Arcadian, at the heart of Southside.
The festivities will spill out into the streets with the surrounding Hurst Street and Inge Street lined with street food and traditional market stalls, selling their wares to visitors as well as a fairground providing fun for all the family.
Organised by the Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee (BCFC), the 2015 festival welcomed over 20,000 visitors with numbers set to increase again this year. Traditionally a quiet time for businesses, the event helps increase footfall to local businesses by up to 200%.
2016 (the 4713th year in the Chinese calendar) is the year of the Red Monkey. The Chinese apply five elements to the calendar; metal, water, wood, fire and earth. The colour connected to the fire group is red, therefore 2016 is the Red Fire Monkey Year
James Wong, chair of the Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee, said: “Chinese New Year is the biggest event in the Chinese calendar. Due to support from the local community and partners such as Southside and The Arcadian, the festival has grown year on year, positioning it as one of the top festivals in Birmingham’s extensive events calendar.
“As well as the traditional lion dancers, acrobats, singers and dancers, the 2016 festival will also see the introduction of a new street food market which will be serving up an array of Far Eastern delicacies, making it a truly family-friendly affair.”
Julia Chance, Southside BID manager, said: “Each year the Chinese New Year festivities bring thousands of new and returning visitors to Southside’s Chinatown. Despite its continued and growing success, this year the festival lost its funding from Birmingham City Council as part of the ongoing budget cuts happening across the city. Despite this hit, spirits haven’t been dampened and the entire Southside community has come together in support to raise the much needed funds to plug this gap. The action taken is a true testament to the community spirit of the people who live, work and visit Southside and we’re truly touched by their continued support.”
Lina Higuita, centre manager for the Arcadian, said: “The Chinese New Year celebration is a highlight on The Arcadian Centre’s events calendar and we are very pleased to be able to support and host this fabulous occasion once again. It’s a great day for all the family and we are looking forward to welcoming thousands of people to this most colourful and vibrant showcase of Chinese culture again.”
Birmingham’s Chinese New Year Festival will take place on Sunday 7th February between 12.30pm – 5.00pm in The Arcadian and surrounding streets.
Organisers of Birmingham’s Chinese New Year festivities will host a special fundraising dinner on Friday 5th February at Chung Ying Garden to raise money in support of future Chinese festivals. To book tickets please visit http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/chinese-new-year-fundraiser-dinner-tickets-19888822002