Countdown to Chinese New Year in the city starts with a show at Leeds Town Hall

The countdown to Chinese New Year celebrations has begun in Leeds with a little help from friends who travelled almost 6,000 miles.

Sunday, 27th January 2019, 5:17 pm
Updated Sunday, 27th January 2019, 5:28 pm
A traditional Lion Dance being held as part of the countdown to the Chinese New Year celebrations.

The Youth Music Group from Guangzhou, a port city in the north west of Hong Kong, were the stars of a fundraising show held at Leeds Town Hall this weekend.

The Rhythm of Spring Chinese New Year celebration was organised by the Leeds Chinese Community School in support of events that are set to be held next month for the official new year in the Chinese calendar.

The Year of The Pig will be celebrated around the globe from Tuesday, February 5.

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A traditional Lion Dance being held as part of the countdown to the Chinese New Year celebrations.

Here in Leeds, the festivities began on Saturday with authentic Chinese music performed using an array of traditional instruments as well as singing and dance.

Yi Ling Chan, the headteacher at Leeds Chinese Community School in Harrogate Road, said: “The Chinese New Year spirit is high. The Leeds Chinese Community School and the youth music group from Guangzhou have worked tirelessly over the past few months to make the Chinese New Year celebration event in Leeds Town Hall a reality.”

Each year around 70 students make the trip from Guangzhou to Leeds to take part in the event, making their performance one of the highlights along with the traditional Lion Dance.

And it is not just the Chinese community in the city that is invited along to enjoy the cultural celebration.

Dancers from the Youth Music Group.

The event is opened up to everyone in Leeds each year so they can experience a taste of Chinese culture.

Bei Gao, chair of Leeds Chinese School, said: “Undoubtedly this cultural exchange event will bring inspiration to Leeds and make the city a more vibrant and welcoming place, along with cementing the friendship between China and the UK.”

Young spectators watch the events at Leeds Town Hall.