As Potteries Museum are unable to host their annual Chinese New Year celebrations this year, they have instead created a special section on their website to help everyone enjoy the festivities at home. 

Welcome in the year of the Ox and take part in craft activities which include mask making and creating your own Chinese lantern. See images from past museum events and enjoy a video from 2016 - the year of the Monkey. 

Discover the story of the Zodiac animals and what place the Ox took in the race and help Ozzy Owl find the animals in your home with his seasonal trail. See an animation of the Willow Pattern story and then take part in a competition to design your own Willow Pattern plate or create a poem based on the Chinese New Year story.

The museum has many objects relating to Chinese culture from Mahjong playing cards to exquisite Chinese porcelain and a stunning collection of Jade and Ivories. Discover many of these objects and more as you celebrate Chinese New Year in the collections. Read their blog exploring the depictions and symbolism of ‘good luck’, gods, goddesses and immortals in ivory and jade sculpture carvings.

See a film of their latest touring exhibition - China: Through the Lens of John Thomson 1868-1872 and view stunning images capturing fascinating details from the long-lost world of Imperial China. Potteries Museum’s curators also discuss items from the museums own collection which complement the exhibition.

Competition time!

The museum has designed a special competition for children of all ages to take part in. Why not have a go at writing a poem or story about Ozzy Owl meeting the Chinese Zodiac animals. To help you get started, the museum has started a poem which you’ll just need to continue the story with another animal –

Along time ago, there was a great race.
All animals lined up and each took their place.
To be in the Zodiac they must cross the stream.
To win this race, was every beasts dream.

The Ox, in the lead, was a very good swimmer.
‘Surely’ he thought ‘I’ll be the winner!’
But a naughty rodent hitched a lift on his back.
Then raced to the finish line and the winner was Rat!

Alternatively, children can create their own willow pattern design with the iconic blue and white colours on a paper plate. Give it a local feel by including drawings relating to key images and buildings across the city or your favourite museum object.

The competition opens on Monday 1 February and closes Sunday 28 February. There are three different age categories: 5 – 7 year olds; 8 – 11 year olds; and 12 – 16 year olds. Winners in each category will receive a ‘goody’ bag which includes activities, puzzles and a small toy from the museum shop. All submissions will be featured on their online gallery.

Please email your entries to with the child’s name and age. Winners will be notified by Monday 15 March.     

For more information and activities on Chinese culture please visit

Chinese New Year Competition Terms and Conditions:

- Only one entry will be accepted per person.
- Entries must be submitted by email to with Competition in the subject line. The child’s name and age must be included with the entry.
- Only entries received by Sunday 28th February 2021 will be accepted. Stoke-on-Trent City Council does not accept any responsibility for late or lost entries.
- Entrants must comply with all rules to be eligible for the prizes. Ineligible entries or entries made fraudulently will be automatically disqualified.
- Entrants must label their entry with: name, age and a contact telephone number/email. Personal details will only be used for the purposes of administering this competition.  In the case of school entries, children should provide their name, school name, name of staff contact and year group.
- The competition is open to all UK residents apart from employees of Stoke-on-Trent Museums Services. Entrants under 18 years of age, must obtain permission from their parent or guardian, or teacher where appropriate, before entering the competition.
- Prizes will be awarded to different age categories (age as on 28th February 2021).
- Stoke-on-Trent City Council reserves the right to request proof of age.
- There are three different age categories, 5 – 7yr olds, 8 – 11yr olds and 12 – 16yr olds. Winners in each category will receive a ‘goody’ bag from our museum shop.
- Stoke-on-Trent City Council reserves the right to cancel the competition or to amend its terms and conditions at any stage.
- Upon submission of an entry all intellectual property rights in the entry are assigned to Stoke-on-Trent City Council. This means that Stoke-on-Trent City Council will be the sole owner of these rights and will be entitled to use them for any purpose it sees fit. 
- All submissions will be featured on our online gallery.
- Stoke-on-Trent City Council reserves the right to publicise the winning entrants’ names, including on its website, and to disclose the winning entrants’ names to persons requesting that information.
- Entries must be original, entirely the work of the named entrant and not infringe copyright. Originality will be taken into account by the judges. 
- There will be no cash alternatives. 
- Prizes will not be transferable to any other person.
- Prizes are non-negotiable.
- We will endeavour to contact competition winners personally using the details provided, or through their school if applicable, by 15th March 2021. Only the winners will be contacted personally.
- The winning entries will be the ones that, in the opinion of the judges appointed by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, include the best original ideas. Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
- Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these rules and to agree to be bound by them when entering this competition. 
- The competition and the terms and conditions of this agreement will be governed by the laws of England and Wales.




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