Presented by the Chinese Festival Committee and co-produced by Birmingham Hippodrome, Chinese New Year celebrations are expected to draw in huge numbers to the city for the long weekend of festivities with lots of free family friendly activities.

Chinese New Year celebrations return to the city from Friday 24th Sunday 26th January to welcome in the Year of the Rat. With 30,000 visitors expected to arrive in the city, it’s set to be one of the biggest events in the Southside calendar.

The celebrations will start on Friday 24th January with a Chinese classical concert presented by the University of Birmingham. On Saturday 25th January, shoppers at Bullring & Grand Central will then be able to enjoy the much loved lion and dragon procession, pop up performances including traditional fan and umbrella dances, amazing acrobats and much more throughout the day. A special Wish Tree will also be placed in Grand Central onto which shoppers and visitors can add their New Year wishes.

Chinese New Year Birmingham 2019 - Southside BID
Credit: Simon Hadley

To celebrate the official Chinese New Year’s Day on Sunday 26th January, an exciting programme of performances and free activities will take place in Birmingham’s Chinatown in the heart of Southside. The main stage in Hippodrome Square will host the official opening and closing ceremonies with a variety of performances throughout the day. Birmingham Hippodrome’s Patrick Studio will also be hosting free performances alongside a range of free family friendly activities across Southside.

Graham Callister, Director of Festivals at Birmingham Hippodrome, said: “We are thrilled to be co-producing Chinese New Year with the Chinese Festival Committee again. This will mark our fifth year being part of the festival, and as a venue in the heart of Southside we are passionate about working with our local communities and partners to offer exciting events across our wonderful city. We look forward to taking our Chinese Year Celebrations across Birmingham city centre and welcoming in the Year of the Rat.”

Chinese New Year Birmingham 2019 - Southside BID
Credit: Simon Hadley

Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in Chinese culture and browse a variety of authentic market stalls with delicious street food, as well as martial arts and firecrackers. There will also be a fundraising dinner at Chung Ying Restaurant on Friday 24th January.

James Wong, Chairman of Southside BID and the Chinese Festival Committee, said: “Following on from previous years, Chinese New Year 2020 will be bigger and better than ever. With so many different performances and activities going on, there’s something for everyone. Southside is a melting pot of different cultures and backgrounds, which makes it such a great place to host our annual event, and I can’t wait to share our rich heritage with the rest of the city for a jam-packed weekend of celebrations.”

To find out more about the full programme, click here.