Chinese New Year celebrations for 2018 officially begin on Friday 16 February, followed by 15 activity-packed days including the annual event in Newcastle Chinatown taking place on Sunday 18 February.
 
One of the highlights of Chinese New Year is the spectacular Lion Dance, which intu Eldon Square is welcoming into the shopping centre for a Chinese New Year’s Day performance to launch The Year of the Dog at 12 noon on Friday 16 February.
 
The lively and exciting Lion Dance, which Chinese tradition claims brings good luck and scares away evil spirits for the year ahead, will be performed by members of Edmund Ng’s Choi Lee Fut Kung Fu Dragon and Lion team.
 
Edmund, a member of the Chinese Festivity Group, organisers of Chinese New Year in the city, said:
 
“We are very much looking forward to bringing the Lion Dance to intu Eldon Square, as we are always a very popular attraction to shoppers! Our dedicated troupe of performers come from a training base whose aims and objectives are to promote healthy living by practising the art of Choi Lee Fut kung fu and Chinese lion dancing; we also aim to promote racial harmony through better understanding of Chinese arts and culture.”
 
The Lion Dance performance will begin at the Grey’s Monument entrance to the centre at 12 noon, then make its way through Grey’s Quarter, and on to St Andrew’s Way, where a free children’s arts and crafts area will be set up near Debenhams, giving children the opportunity to make their own mini Chinese dragons.
 
Vikki Mather, intu Eldon Square’s acting marketing manager, commented:
 
“We are all really looking forward to heralding Chinese New Year celebrations in the city with the exciting Lion Dance at intu Eldon Square. The festival is an integral part of Newcastle’s exciting events calendar and the showcase dance is a firecracker of a performance designed to thrill and entertain. This year’s festivities will be bigger and better than ever in the city and we are thrilled to be joining in painting the town red – the Chinese colour of good luck!”