Everything you need to know about celebrating Chinese New Year in Sunderland

Lanterns, dragons and dancing are just some of the treats in store as Sunderland celebrates Chinese New Year. Here is everything you need to know about the festivities.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 12:46 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 6:48 am

Where and when is the event taking place?

The celebrations kick off on Sunday, February 2, with a special event to mark the occasion at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.

Although Chinese New Year itself falls on January 25, across Asia it is celebrated up to two weeks after that date.

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Chinese New Year celebrations in Sunderland's Market Square.

What is the Chinese Zodiac?

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2020 is the Year of the Rat.

The rat has characteristics including wit, alertness, flexibility and vitality.

What entertainment is on?

Chinese New Year in Sunderland.

A traditional dragon dance will launch the celebrations at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, starting at midday.

In the afternoon there will be displays, activities and crafts, ending at around 4pm.

Performances will include traditional lion dancing and martial arts demonstrations and visitors will also have the chance to try their hand at Chinese brush painting.

Other activities for all ages include zodiac badge making, constructing lucky red lanterns and a chopstick challenge.

Chinese New Year celebrations in Sunderland's Market Square.

How much does it cost?

The event is free, but Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens is also holding an entry-fee event Zodiac Animal Trail from now until Sunday, February 23.

It costs £2.50 per child and trails are available to buy from the museum shop.

Who has organised the event?

This year’s event has been organised and supported by Sunderland Culture, Sunderland BID, Sunderland City Council, University of Sunderland, Gentoo and Asiana Fusion Restaurant.

What do organisers say?

Ian Wong, owner of Asiana, said: “It will be a lovely way to celebrate the beginning of a new cycle of the Chinese zodiac.”

Sharon Appleby, head of business operations at Sunderland BID, said: “Chinese New Year is a wonderful opportunity for people to learn more about another culture,” she said, “and this event promises to be great fun for the whole family.”

Rebecca Ball, creative director, Sunderland Culture, said: “It's wonderful to see so many people come together in celebration and we look forward to welcoming everyone to Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens for the spectacle."