Birmingham Lunar New Year celebrations 2024: Year of the Dragon – Here’s what to expect
Lunar New Year celebrations will take place in Birmingham next month on Sunday 11 February, but what can you expect?
Supported by Southside District and The Arcadian, the festivities and celebrations will take place in and around Birmingham Hippodrome, throughout the Southside District, and will include performances, family activities, craft market stalls and a spectacular firework finale, welcoming in the Year of the Dragon.
Lunar New Year celebrations in Birmingham
A main stage inside The Arcadian grounds will once again be the focus of attractions for many as it’s graced with dancers, performers, artists and no doubt surrounded by everyone’s favourite dragon dancers!
This year is the Year of the Dragon, ensuring the representation of the mythical fire-breather during festivities will be more than ample. Alongside performances, family craft activities will be available for children of all ages to enjoy.
Additionally, food stalls will have an array of delicious south-east and east Asian delicacies on sale for all, not to mention the many restaurants and cafes which will be taking part through the Southside district.
Markets stalls, costumed entertainers and attractions courtesy of organisers will also be on show in and around The Arcadian and the Birmingham Hippodrome.
James Wong, Chair of the Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee said: “It was wonderful to be back in Southside last year shining a light on the fantastic talent in our region and recognising all communities celebrating Lunar New Year and we are delighted to be back this year.
“We will share our full programme for the celebrations soon but visitors can expect all the favourites from the traditional waking of the Lion ‘Dim Jing’ to Dragon dances representing power, strength and good luck. I’m sure audience favourite Pom Pom – our giant ten-foot Panda – will also make a return for all those selfie moments throughout the Festival.”
Lunar New Year 2024 – Year of the Dragon
The Year of the Dragon is as fiery and dramatic as it sounds, since the Dragon is considered the luckiest zodiac sign in Chinese culture.
The Lunar New Year and the Year of the Dragon starts on 10 February, 2024 and ends on 28 January, 2025.
The Dragon, also known as Loong, is the fifth of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese/Lunar calendar.
According to the Chinese zodiac, the Year of the Dragon comes once every 12 years. The dragon years of the last century were 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, and now: 2024. People born in any of these years are dragons.
In the Buddhist calendar used in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka, the Dragon is replaced by the nāga. In the Gurung zodiac, the Dragon is replaced by the eagle.
Chris Sudworth, Creative Director at Birmingham Hippodrome added: “The 2023 Lunar New Year celebrations were our biggest yet and it was wonderful to be back home in Southside.
“2024 will see the festival develop again, as our long-time partners Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee are joined by Birmingham Chinatown Business Association, working with us to curate a programme that celebrates the communities of Chinatown and Southside alongside professional performers.
“We’re delighted we can throw open our doors for family activities in the Hippodrome foyers and performances in the Patrick Studio; and the excitement continues with a funfair in Inge Street and Hurst Street and the firework finale over The Arcadian. Make sure you have the date in your diary – 11 February 2024 – and join us in welcoming in the Year of the Dragon.”
Kin Bong Lam, Chair of the Birmingham Chinatown Business Association added: “We are delighted to be working alongside Birmingham Hippodrome and Chinese Festival Committee Birmingham to continue to build Chinatown’s reputation as the place to be for the Lunar New Year Celebrations.
“We are keen to support and encourage the prosperity of the area, and of the Festival, not just for 2024 but for future Lunar New Year celebrations and future generations.”
Lunar New Year 2024 is produced by Birmingham Hippodrome in partnership with Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee and Birmingham Chinatown Business Association. This year’s Festival is supported by Southside District and The Arcadian.