Nottingham’s Lakeside Arts in University Park, Nottingham has been the first to start celebrating 2016’s Chinese New Year, with various traditional events and performances being held.

The arts centre held a festival on 31st January to celebrate the Year of the Monkey, with traditional Lion Dance, Paper cutting, Tai Ji and a Dragon Dance as well as a variety of workshops.

The free event was open to the public and had free gifts including Lanterns and T-shirts.

“It is inspiring”
Jiang Hongsheng

Jiang Hongsheng, an artist and teacher in the traditional art of brush-painting from Nottingham’s twin city Ningbo, held a workshop for people of all ages and capabilities. The workshop involved caligraphy and learning how to brush-paint flowers. When participants felt ready, they could add peonies to a 100-metre scroll Hongsheng is creating.

” After just two hours of guidance, students can learn to make beautiful flowers all by themselves. It is inspiring,” explained Jiang Hongsheng.

  • Chinese brush-painting started in 4000 B.C.
  • A Chinese brush has a finer tip than western paintbrushes.
  • The brush mixed with water and paint creates the gradual colour fade Chinese brush-painting is famous for.

But why is it important to celebrate these festivities in Nottingham? Shona Powell, the Director of Nottingham Lakeside Arts, explained ” as we have so many visiting international students from China, it makes perfect sense to be celebrating that diversity in our own community”.

Audio: Shona Powell, Director of Nottingham Lakeside Arts, speaks about why Chinese New year is celebrated in Nottingham.


Freya Moult, 15 from Mansfield also performed a Erhu duet with Ling Pong, a chinese music teacher performer and composer.

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