Amazing acrobats, dancing dragons and marvellous magic will entertain the crowds during Chinese New Year celebrations at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery.

The free-to-attend event on Sunday, January 26, will welcome in the Year of the Rat with a jam-packed festival that attracts more than 3,500 visitors.

It will also include folk dancing, martial arts demonstrations, firecrackers, and much more.

Families can watch the traditional dragon and lion dances – as well as a popular unicorn dance.

In the museum’s theatre, there will also be performances by children from the local Chinese Sunday school and professionals dancing in traditional costume.

Craft activities will take place throughout the day and include Chinese painting, writing and origami.

The museum, in Bethesda Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, will have extended opening hours for the event - 10am to 5pm, with the festival running from 11am to 4pm.

Councillor Lorraine Beardmore, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure, said: “This amazing festival is one of the museum’s most popular events of the year - it’s got something for everyone. There are wonderful group displays which help visitors to learn more about Chinese traditions. And the theatre performances are a fantastic way to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the skills and costumes on display.

“Children will love the amazing magic, dancing, acrobats and more – and they can also get involved in the craft activities which teach them more about Chinese culture. I’ll definitely be taking my whole family along to enjoy everything that’s on offer. It’s a fantastic way to celebrate Chinese New Year as part of our diverse city.”

Chinese New Year takes place on a different date every year, because it is based on the lunar calendar. In this calendar a month is two days shorter than in the solar calendar so to make up for it an extra month is added every few years.

The Year of the Rat is defined by the Chinese zodiac cycle. Each year is denoted by a different symbol from the Chinese 12-year animal zodiac.




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