Red lanterns hang above one of the narrow streets which makes up the Chinatown quarter of Birmingham
Chinese New Year is just a matter of weeks away and will see the citizens of China and parts of Asia, as well as Chinese communities across the globe, celebrate.
This year, Chinese New Year will take place on Tuesday 1 February 2022.
The previous lunar year ran from 12 February 2021 and ends on 31 January 2022.
And although communities across Birmingham and the rest of the the country will be celebrating, the annual Chinese New Year festival celebrations in and around the Arcadian centre will not take place this year.
Last year’s celebrations at the Arcadian were cancelled due to Covid-19, with organisers also deciding not to go ahead with the plans again this year due to the virus.
In the past, the Arcadian Centre has hosted the Chinese New Year Festival featuring stalls and street food, live music, as well as a large marquee and stunning lion dances - with thousands of visitors gathering in the city’s Chinese Quarter to celebrate.
Why aren’t the Arcadian celebrations going ahead in 2022?
James Wong, Chair of Birmingham’s Chinese Festival Committee, said: “Unfortunately, Birmingham’s annual Chinese New Year celebrations in the Arcadian Centre will not be taking place this year.
“We have decided against it due to Covid-19 and the spread of the Omicron variant.”
Although the Arcadian celebrations will not go ahead, Mr Wong did say that plans are in place to celebrate the festival in the city centre.
He said: “Although we have cancelled the Arcadian celebrations, there are some plans in place for Chinese New Year celebrations in Birmingham city centre this year, but the specifics of these plans have yet to be confirmed.”
What else is going on in Birmingham?
Some traditional celebrations will be taking place at the Bullring.
On Saturday 5 February, between 12 and 5pm, there will be a range of free performances.
Shoppers and visitors to the city centre can enjoy the traditional, and much loved, lion dance and processions through Bullring and Grand Central, as well as a packed programme featuring fan dancers, shaolin monks and face changing dancers.
The plans have been put in place by Birmingham Hippodrome and supported by the Chinese Festival Committee, Birmingham and Chinese Community Centre Birmingham.
You can also watch celebrations online as they will be streamed live later on in the evening on the same day through the Chinese Festival Committee Birmingham Facebook page.
The online celebrations will take place from 5pm until 7pm on Saturday 5 February, and will also include lion dances and processions, as well as performances.
You will be able to watch the live event by using the link, here.
Chinatown will still be open during this time for you to enjoy the great food and venues it has to offer.
A University of Birmingham Lunar New Year concert will also be taking place on January 27.
The concert will take place at the university’s music building.
The event will feature performances by artists Didi Xiao, Eimear McGeown, Euphoria China, and for the first time, students in China studying at the university’s joint institute with partner Jinan University.
The concert is free to attend, but as tickets are limited. you can order here.
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