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Celebrate the Chinese Year of the Rooster in York

24 July 2009

York will celebrate the Chinese New Year in style in 2005, with a host of spectacular activities and events, including a lion and lantern parade and the creation of a colourful Chinese Arch.

The National Centre for Early Music (NCEM) in York will be co-ordinating a citywide Festival during January and leading up to the Chinese New Year on Wednesday 9 February.

Delma Tomlin, Director of the NCEM said: "We have created a myriad of opportunities for everyone to get involved. You can make lanterns for the parade, have a go at creating Chinese music, design computer aided New Year Cards and sample Chinese Opera.

"This is an amazing opportunity for the City to celebrate together and we are delighted to have so many partners supporting us. In particular I would like to recognise the support given by the City of York Council, Yorkshire Forward, First Stop York, Norwich Union, Arts & Business New Partners, HSBC and Harrowell Shaftoe Solicitors."

Preparations for the celebrations will begin early in the New Year. Drop-in Lantern Making Workshops for all the family will take place at the NCEM (22 Jan 10.30am - 3.30pm) and Acomb Library (29 Jan 10am - 12 noon) to prepare props for the Lion and Lantern Parade. The Parade will be led by the lion dance team Oceans Apart who will take the Parade through the streets, to the Chinese Arch in the Coppergate Centre (starting outside St William's College, 9 Feb at 7pm).

Primary school children from Fishergate, Lord Deramore's and Osbaldwick Schools in York will have the opportunity to work with artists to decorate York's first ever Chinese Arch and will also find out more about the different facets of Chinese culture including architecture, symbolic decoration, colours and the zodiac. The Arch will be 'on view' at the NCEM from Saturday 29 January, moving to the Coppergate Centre for the New Year's Day celebrations on Wednesday 9 February.

During Residents First weekend (29 & 30 Jan) there are a limited number of free tickets to York Residents to see the London Jing Kun Opera Association who will be visiting the NCEM with a stunning production of 'Two Dreams', a performance of contrasting stories of unfulfilled love. This is a rare opportunity to experience Chinese Opera and contrasts two of the most popular performance styles: Jingju (Peking Opera) and Kunju, (Kun Opera). (29 Jan at 7.30pm)

Chinese movement/mime and percussion is explored further in two workshops run by members from the Association (30 Jan, 11.30 - 1pm percussion workshop and 2 - 3.30pm, Movement/Mime workshop). The workshops are suitable for anyone over eight years old although children must be accompanied by an adult. Places are free but need to be booked in advance.

There is also an oriental flavour to Residents First weekend with York's first
Oriental Market at the Coppergate Centre (29 & 30 Jan, 10 - 5pm) complete with mouth-watering food stalls, acupuncture and herbalists as well as stands selling traditional souvenirs.

Chinese food is also on the menu for primary school children at Stockton-on-the-Forest, Elvington, Wheldrake, Woodthorpe, St George's and Dunnington Schools. They have been invited to watch Chinese chefs from Maxi's Restaurant in York cooking a variety of tasty oriental fish dishes. Promoted by the Humber Seafood Group and the Ethnic Food Action Group, the demonstrations will focus on cooking simple haddock and coley dishes and the chefs will talk about how the Chinese celebrate New Year and the importance of fish in Chinese cooking. The young people will have the chance to enter a Chinese Fish Recipe Competition and the winning recipe will be cooked at the 2005 York Festival of Food & Drink in September.

Plus there will be Dim Sum Storytelling at York Library (3 Feb 1pm), Chinese Films at York City Screen (28 Jan - 8 Feb) a Chinese New Year Card Workshop organised by Future Prospects at Tang Hall Library
(3 Feb 12.30pm - 2.30pm) and a Chinese Opera Masks and Drama Workshop at the Priory Street Centre (8 Feb, 10am - 3.30pm) organised by the City of York Council's Cultural Diversity Project.

For more information about all the events in the 2005 Festival visit the NCEM website at www.ncem.co.uk/chinese or ring the Box Office on 01904 658338 to book tickets or request a Chinese Festival brochure.

For further press information or pictures, please contact Melanie Paris, Marketing Manager at the NCEM on 01904 632220 or email press@ncem.co.uk .