Sunderland welcomes Year of the Rooster as city marks Chinese New Year

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Wearsiders enjoyed a taste of China as the Year of the Rooster was celebrated in Sunderland.

A full programme of events took place at Sunderland’s Museum and Winter Gardens, on Burdon Road, to mark Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year celebrations in Mowbray Park, Sunderland on Sunday.

Chinese New Year celebrations in Mowbray Park, Sunderland on Sunday.

Organised by businessmen Harry Collinson and Ian Wong, the free event included dragon dancing and the blessing of the lion.

Mr Collinson felt the event – and how well it was backed by the amount of people who turned out – demonstrated why Sunderland could be successful in its bid to become UK City of Culture for 2021.

He said: “This is the second time we’ve organised Chinese New Year celebrations in Sunderland, and it has been so well supported again.

“We’re all fully behind the City of Culture bid, and hopefully events like this will help.

It’s essential that we keep supporting cultural events like this

Harry Collinson

“It’s essential that we keep supporting cultural events like this.

“It’s also important to showcase the Museum and Winter Gardens, and everything which is offered there.

“It was a slightly unusual setting for us, but worked out perfectly.”

A large crowd gathered to watch the celebration as they embraced the Chinese culture.

Chinese New Year celebrations in Mowbray Park, Sunderland on Sunday.

Chinese New Year celebrations in Mowbray Park, Sunderland on Sunday.

It included a special performance by a school from Daqing, in North West China. Dawing is next to Harbin, which is a city twinned with Sunderland.

There were lots of events for children to enjoy, including mask and lantern making, martial arts displays, brush painting demonstrations, storytelling and calligraphy workshops.

In the workshops, Chinese students from the University of Sunderland translated names onto red paper.

The cafe at the venue also served a special Chinese-themed menu for the day, including curries and noodles.

Chinese New Year celebrations in Mowbray Park, Sunderland on Sunday.

Chinese New Year celebrations in Mowbray Park, Sunderland on Sunday.

Traditional Chinese music and dancing was also enjoyed by those who attended the event.

Many of the performances took place outside, including dragon dancing, martial arts and a traditional lion dance.

Mr Wong, who runs Asiana restaurant and worked alongside Mr Collinson to organise the event, said: “It was a fantastic turnout, which we were really delighted with.

“It was also a great day for a celebration.

“Last year, we didn’t have great conditions and it was a bit windy, but this time it was perfect.”

Chinese New Year celebrations in Mowbray Park, Sunderland on Sunday.

Chinese New Year celebrations in Mowbray Park, Sunderland on Sunday.

Chinese New Year celebrations in Mowbray Park, Sunderland on Sunday.

Chinese New Year celebrations in Mowbray Park, Sunderland on Sunday.

Chinese New Year celebrations in Mowbray Park, Sunderland on Sunday.

Chinese New Year celebrations in Mowbray Park, Sunderland on Sunday.