The arrival of the Year of the Dragon will be celebrated in Leeds.
The Leeds Chinese Community Association is again hosting a Chinese New Year Festival, which will be held at Leeds Town Hall, in The Headrow, on Sunday January 22 from 11am.
Activities including Kung Fu, karaoke and face painting along with trade stands, workshops and theatre performances will bring the celebration to life in the city.
The event will also promote the London 2012 Olympic Games, as China’s athletes prepare to base themselves in Leeds from July.
Judy Pease, the association’s deputy chair, said: “We want people to open their eyes to know that we are in England and are open.
“As part of this we have Tai Chi classes, workshops, Zumba dance and Chinese writing.”
Aiming for 2,000 visitors this year, the annual Chinese New Year Festival continues to grow after it was revived in Leeds in 2008, bringing Chinese and international song, dance and tradition to the city.
The Year of the Dragon, which starts on January 23, is the year in the Chinese zodiac that symbolises wealth and power.
Ms Pease said: “Music shouldn’t have any problem for any cultures and it breaks down barriers, so this is our main theme.
“We also want to introduce a new Chinese fashion show to show traditional costumes.”
Special additions for the 2012 festival will also include Leeds Gold 2012 project manager, Peter Smith, hosting Olympic demonstrations including table tennis and other displays.
Funding issues last year meant the festival was down sized to fit the Carriageworks Theatre, in Millennium Square, but it is now set to take centre stage in the city once again.
Ms Pease added: “Last year the town hall was too expensive and we couldn’t afford it and I’m so glad this year they can give us really generous help and I’m so happy to come back.”
Leeds Central MP Hilary Benn is expected to make an appearance at this year’s festival.
The event is free to enter, although tickets for the theatre performances cost £3 and can be bought on the day at the town hall from 10am or from the Carriageworks Theatre from now until the event.
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