THE year of the snake will be marked with a major celebration of Chinese culture in Londonderry this weekend.
A free Lantern Festival will take place on the last day of the Chinese New Year from 12pm on Sunday at the Craft Village in Derry’s city centre.
Chinese lions and dragons will be stalking the cobbled streets of the village, which will be given an oriental makeover with outdoor performances, Chinese food and workshops, and a Chinese market. There will also be Chinese music, acrobatics, martial arts and dance events.
The Chinese Welfare Association has organised the programme, working with the Chinese Consulate of Edinburgh and NI, Sai Pak Chinese Association, Derry City Council and Culture Company 2013.
Eileen Chan-Hu, Chinese Welfare Association chief executive, said: “I am delighted and proud our Chinese events are part of the UK City of Culture’s calendar. There will be Chinese ribbon dance, juggling, magic, music from Harmony Ensemble, a Scottish and Chinese group that has played at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival supported by the Chinese Consulate of Edinburgh and NI, to a fantastic Dragon from the China Overseas Committee.
“We will look forward to a great line-up of performances from the lion dances of Success Lion dance to our local Irish dancers. Please come down and make a lantern and make a wish for a prosperous and successful year ahead in the Year of the Snake.”
Culture Company 2013 programmer Gareth Stewart said: “The Lantern Festival is a colourful and exciting way to bring down the curtain on the Chinese New Year celebrations and it’s great to see it happening as part of the City of Culture year.
“It’ll be a great afternoon out for the family; a really colourful spectacle right in the heart of the city in the Craft Market.”