2024 The Year of the Dragon

Newcastle will celebrate the Lunar New Year this Sunday, 11 February with a whole host of festivities starting with the famous dragon dance parade through the heart of the city centre to Chinatown with drummers and dancers helping to ring in the New Year – the Year of the Dragon.

The dragon dance parade will start at the Monument with a fanfare of dancers and drummers leading the procession through the city to the Chinese Arch on Stowell Street. The celebrations will continue with dancing, music and firecrackers.

The parade starts at 11.30 am and is scheduled to arrive at the Chinese Arch by 12 noon.

NE1 is sponsoring the celebrations and has worked closely with the Chinese Association of Newcastle to bring the festivities back into the heart of the city.

Food stalls and sellers will be set up around Bath Lane in Chinatown serving Chinese food and selling arts, crafts and produce.

The highlight of the celebrations will be the traditional, lively and musical dragon dance parade with drummers and dancers symbolically chasing away evil spirits, creating excitement and signalling good luck and fortune for the coming year.

The celebrations are completely free to attend and offer fun for all the family. People are encouraged to visit Chinatown on Sunday 11 February to enjoy the festivities and ring in the Lunar New Year!

· 2024 is the Year of the Dragon, more specifically the Wood Dragon, one of 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac. The other animals are Rabbit, Snake, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig, Tiger, Rat, Ox and Horse.

· The Dragon symbolizes good luck, power and strength and is the only mythical creature in the Chinese Zodiac

· Emerald Green is said to be the lucky colour for 2024

Ben Whitfield, Director of Communications at NE1 Ltd said:
“We are proud to be working with Newcastle City Council to sponsor the Lunar New Year celebrations again this year and are excited to expand the celebrations and bring them back into the heart of the city for the first time since Covid. More people will be able to get involved and enjoy the festivities. It is a wonderful way to celebrate the diversity of our great city, to promote Newcastle’s Chinatown, one of only 8 major Chinatowns in the UK, and to ring in the Lunar New Year.”

“We would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year, or Kung Hei Fat Choi, as you will hear people saying on the day.”

Gordon Makepeace, a member of the Chinese Festivities Group, the group that organises the event, said: “We would love people to come into the city to enjoy the parade and the New Year’s celebrations and festivities in Chinatown. This year we have the dragon dance and other traditional New Year’s festivities including drummers and firecrackers to ring in the New Year. Everyone is welcome.”

Cllr Alex Hay, Cabinet Member for a Thriving City said: “Lunar New Year has always been a highlight in Newcastle’s calendar. The celebrations that take place to mark the New Year offer an opportunity to experience this wonderful and colourful tradition and celebrate the rich culture of one of our city’s most established communities, completely free of charge. I am looking forward to Sunday, as I am sure many people in the city are.”

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