Lunar New Year Celebrations

11 February 2024

Save the date: Lunar New Year celebrations return to Birmingham in February

• Birmingham Lunar New Year Festival 2024 will take place on Sunday 11 February.

• Produced by Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee and Birmingham Chinatown Business Association, the celebrations return to Southside District.

• This year’s Festival is supported by Southside District and The Arcadian.

Celebrations will take place in and around Birmingham Hippodrome, throughout the Southside District, and will include astonishing performances, family activities, craft market stalls and a spectacular firework finale, welcoming in the Year of the Dragon.

Details of all the completely free-of-charge events are as follows: 

The UberEats Festival stage12 noon – 6pm at Hippodrome Square:

A packed programme starting with the traditional waking of the Lion ‘Dim Jing’ to bring in the festivities with firecrackers.

Expect to see drummers, face changer performances, school choirs, musicians, K-Pop dance, and traditional Chinese dance performances on stage at the heart of the festival site.

Family activities12 noon – 5.30pm in the foyer of Birmingham Hippodrome:

Step into Birmingham Hippodrome’s foyer throughout the day for free family activities and facepainting.

You can decorate dragon puppets, try calligraphy, or colour traditional Lunar New Year Zodiac animals and messages.

Don’t miss the chance to write your own new year wish on a Dragon scale and pin it on a piece of newly commissioned Dragon artwork.

Craft market and Funfair ride12 noon – 6pm at Inge Street and Hurst Street:

The craft market offers you a chance to purchase unique homemade and traditional items.

Family friendly fairground rides are located around the event site as well as various street food vendors, offering a variety of food options and cuisines.

Move Midlands performances, Patrick Studio at Birmingham Hippodrome:

1pm – 1.40pm and 2pm – 3pm: New Beginnings: A Move Midlands Debut

4.30pm – 5.30pm: ‘Why I’m Afraid to Go Outside’ (age guideline 15+)

A cohort of New Earth Theatre alumni who are based in Birmingham and the Midlands will present performance showcases of new work.

Aspiring to empower British, East & Southeast Asian creatives to create new productions which share stories and voices of the underrepresented.

Dance workshops:

K-pop dance: 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm (Age 8+)

Fan dance: 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm and 4.30pm (Age 4+)

Take part in a K-Pop or Traditional Chinese Fan dance workshop led by professional dance instructors within the local community, delving into the origins of traditional dances and art forms within different cultures.

Spectacular Fireworks Finale5.45pm at Hippodrome Square:

The fireworks finale closes the day of festivities with a spectacular colourful display above the event site. Packed full of vibrant colours and noise, the fireworks display is known in Chinese culture to drive away bad spirits and monsters who are afraid of loud sounds and the colour red. (Expect lots of red fireworks!)

Walkabout performance:

Throughout the day of the festival, you can experience performances and pop-up surprises throughout the district. These range from dragon and lion dances through to the perfect selfie moment with Pom Pom the giant the ten-foot Panda who will be roaming around the event site for families to meet.

Hsiaoling Houston – Fine Art Exhibition, 12 noon – 6pm at Thorp Street Atrium, Birmingham Hippodrome:

Presenting Hsiaoling Houston’s debut fine art exhibition. Hsiaoling explores the principles of nature being endlessly variable and infinitely inspiring. Reflecting the world as she sees it, bringing joy and enlightenment through art, with fluidity, playing with colours and shapes, merging art styles andmaterials utilised within the pieces.

James Wong, Chair of the Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee said: “It was wonderful to be back in Southside last year shining a light on the fantastic talent in our region and recognising all communities celebrating Lunar New Year and we are delighted to be back this year. Visitors can expect all the favourites from the traditional waking of the Lion ‘Dim Jing’ to Dragon dances representing power, strength, and good luck. Audience favourite Pom Pom – our giant ten-foot Panda – will also make a return for all those selfie moments throughout the Festival.”

Chris Sudworth, Creative Director at Birmingham Hippodrome added: “The 2023 Lunar New Year celebrations were our biggest yet and it was wonderful to be back home in Southside. 2024 will see the festival develop again, as our long-time partners Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee are joined by Birmingham Chinatown Business Association, working with us to curate a programme that celebrates the communities of Chinatown and Southside alongside professional performers. We’re delighted we can throw open our doors for family activities in the Hippodrome foyers and performances in the Patrick Studio; and the excitement continues with a funfair in Inge Street and Hurst Street and the firework finale over The Arcadian. Make sure you have the date in your diary – Sunday 11 February – and join us in welcoming in the Year of the Dragon.”

Kin Bong Lam, Chair of the Birmingham Chinatown Business Association added: “We are delighted to be working alongside Birmingham Hippodrome and Chinese Festival Committee Birmingham to continue to build Chinatown’s reputation as the place to be for the Lunar New Year Celebrations. We are keen to support and encourage the prosperity of the area, and of the Festival, not just for 2024 but for future Lunar New Year celebrations and future generations.”

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