One of Durham’s noisiest annual events returns on Saturday 17th February as the city celebrates the Chinese New Year and the Mayor catches the lucky lettuce to secure a prosperous year ahead
The traditional Chinese Lion dance will be performed first in Durham Market Place; the dancing Lion together with the drum and cymbal accompaniment are believed to drive away bad luck and bring a fresh start. The Lion will be scattering lettuce leaves throughout the city centre to bring luck, and Cllr Bill Kellett, Mayor of Durham, will be challenged with catching the first lucky lettuce thrown by the dancing lion to ensure good fortune for the year ahead for the city.
The Chinese Lion Dance will be performed by the Oceans Apart Kung Fu Club. The first dance in front of the Mayor will be in the Market Place at 12.30pm*. Following this, the procession will move to the Prince Bishops Shopping Centre at 1.10pm*, Elvet Bridge at 1.25pm*, and Framwellgate Bridge at 1.45pm*, followed by a visit to Clayport Library before final performances in Walkergate outside Missoula at 2.10pm* and Fat Buddha around 2.30pm*.
This year the Chinese New Year celebrations coincide with the Fire and Ice Festival in the city centre, so not only will visitors also be able to enjoy the ice and fire sculptures and themed trails in the City centre but the lion dance will be performed with a back drop of the water fountains and flames of the Fire and Ice show. There will also be drop-in Chinese New Year themed Arts and Crafts sessions in Clayport Library in Millennium Place from 2 to 4pm (£1 per child).
Colin Wilkes, Managing Director of Durham Markets and organiser of the city’s Chinese New Year celebrations, commented: “Our Chinese New Year celebrations always draw a great crowd, and as the lion dances in several different city centre locations, there are plenty of opportunities to catch the performance. As Chinese New Year coincides with the city’s Fire and Ice Festival, it’s a great opportunity to spend your Saturday in the city. We hope plenty of people will visit, and make the most of the city’s shops, restaurants and cafes as well as all the entertainment.”
*Please note, timings are approximate and may be subject to change without notice.