Birmingham Hippodrome will be sharing a series of films from Friday 12 February to welcome in Chinese New Year and celebrate The Year of The Ox.
The Hippodrome has commissioned filmmaker Craig Bush and Artist Frances Yeung to create a series of short films reflecting the cultural celebrations and traditions that take place during Chinese New Year.
Made in collaboration with the Chinese Community Centre Birmingham, the films will be shared over a seven-day period and explore how the local community in Southside have adapted their celebrations in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Chinese New Year, commonly referred to as the Spring Festival, celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar and in many Chinese communities, a full week’s holiday is taken to enjoy the festivities, visit friends and family to exchange gifts and red envelopes.
Graham Callister, Director of Festivals at Birmingham Hippodrome said: “Ordinarily we would be preparing for our annual celebrations across the city with tens of thousands of people in attendance. We are delighted to be working with the Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee and Chinese Community Centre Birmingham again to offer a special digital programme to celebrate Chinese New Year and share a deeper insight into the traditions behind this wonderful festival.”
Graham added: “We would like to thank our partners and supporters for ensuring we can still work in partnership with the groups, artists and communities who live, work and enjoy Birmingham to celebrate Chinese New Year. We hope people will enjoy finding out more about the celebrations including the much loved lion dances, tree wrapping and traditional food.”
The Chinese Festival Committee will also be streaming an online celebration on Friday 12 February from their Facebook page, including sharing the series of specially commissioned films.
James Wong, Chair of the Chinese Festival Committee said: “Although we cannot bring the festival to the streets of Birmingham, we look forward to celebrating Chinese New Year with you in the comfort of your own home. Please invite your friends and family as we welcome the year of the Ox! Happy Chinese New Year and Kung Hei Fat Choy.”
Frances Yeung, an emerging artist working with Chinese Community Centre Birmingham on the films added: “Although this year the Chinese community is not able to have any physical Chinese New Year celebrations, we’re hoping to use this opportunity to delve deeper by sharing the many significant aspects of the Spring Festival celebration digitally. We’re hoping people will feel uplifted – we might be socially distancing, but we’re still very much connected at heart.”
The films will be shared on Birmingham Hippodrome’s social media channels and website from Friday 12 February and you can find out more about what to expect from our introduction film:
The films have been produced in partnership with Chinese Community Centre Birmingham, Chinese New Year Committee Birmingham, Southside BID, The Arcadian and funded by Arts Council England.