A record breaking 46,000 people welcomed in the Year of the Rabbit at Lunar New Year celebrations across the city this weekend.
Over Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 January, Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee and Birmingham Hippodrome produced a weekend packed with free performances, craft activities and much more to celebrate the new year.
Working in partnership with Bullring & Grand Central, the festival kicked off on Saturday with the much loved lion procession from the iconic Bull, leading into the centre to treat shoppers to an afternoon of performances, including traditional singing, dancing and music, high energy drum performances and Shaolin Kung Fu demonstrations. Visitors were also able to take a break from their shopping to enjoy calligraphy and painting workshops.
Saturday evening saw the popular lions visit Mailbox, with a lively procession entertaining shoppers and visitors, as part of a number of visits across the city to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
The festivities continued at Hippodrome Square in Southside on Sunday to mark the official New Year’s Day. Starting with Dim Jing – the traditional waking of the lion – visitors to Southside enjoyed a variety of performances on the main stage, including classical fan dances, lion dances, and face changer performances alongside dance and music from the local community. A spectacular fireworks finale closed the day’s celebrations.
James Wong, Chair of the Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee said: “Kung Hei Fat Choy! What a fantastic weekend of lively, colourful celebrations across the city. We are all delighted that our Lunar New Year festival brought so many different people together as well as shining a spotlight on the incredible talent within our local communities. A huge thanks to our partners and sponsors who worked with us to deliver such a special weekend for Birmingham.”
Dan Murphy, General Manager at Bullring & Grand Central, added: “What a great way to celebrate the Lunar New Year! We work with Birmingham Hippodrome, throughout the year to deliver a curated programme of cultural events celebrating the different cultures and communities within our wonderful city, so it was brilliant to see so many people join us for these festivities. It will definitely be a weekend to remember.”
Lunar New Year was produced by Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee and Birmingham Hippodrome. The Saturday programme was produced in partnership with Bullring & Grand Central Birmingham. The Sunday programme was sponsored by Uber Eats, in association with Southside District and supported by The Arcadian. The fireworks finale was sponsored by Ming Moon and the signage sponsor was Hollywood Monster.