Chinese New Year Celebrations 2020

Part of Tullie House's
Part of the "Treasures of China" collection at Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery

The Chinese New Year of the Rat is upon us, and now that Chinese New Year celebrations have concluded (with the Chinese Lantern Festival on the 8th February marking the traditional end to celebrations), we'd like to recap some of the activities we have been involved with.

Our activities span not just here in Lancaster, but also through our 3 teaching sites, in Thornton-Cleveleys, Blackpool, and Carlisle.


Here in Lancaster, our teachers have been hard at work visiting local schools as part of our China Day programme.

Over the course of January and February, our teachers & teaching assistants have been visiting local primary schools with the goal of providing fun & educational sessions about China. These sessions can include learning about China as a country, basic Mandarin language lessons, and cultural activities, such as creating Chinese lanterns. With invitations to visit no less than 14 schools across the North West, we estimate we've had the chance to work with nearly 1400 pupils in our China Days so far this year alone! An outstanding accomplishment for our teachers, and a credit to the increasing interest in China and global cultures from local schools.

This outreach has been boosted even further by our work with the Languages and Cultures Department at a Careers Event in Blackpool. Across 2 days, staff from the CI and DeLC had the chance to engage with over 1250 pupils from Blackpool schools, educating them on Chinese New Year while helping them think about how languages can help in their futures!

Anchorsholme & Hawes Side

The pupils and staff at our Confucius Classrooms in Anchorsholme Academy & Hawes Side Academy have been hard at work channelling their creative skills. To kick off celebrations, Anchorsholme Academy was treated to a performance of "Mulan", and then in the days to come, each year group took their turns to show their hard work learning about Chinese culture, by giving their own performances. These included costumed dances, calligraphy, songs, a performance of an exert from "Journey to the West", and more! These performances were performed for fellow pupils & staff, but also welcomed parents & secondary school pupils learning Mandarin to visit and enjoy the celebrations!

Hawes Side Academy continued this excellent theme of celebrating their pupils' achievements, looking back at their work with the Confucius Classroom, and giving their own collection of costumed performances, which were thoroughly enjoyed by their fellow pupils, and by the group of staff from Lancaster University Confucius Institute, who were welcomed to enjoy the celebrations and discuss the work being done in Blackpool, as part of our ongoing effort to increase cooperation between the Confucius Institute in Lancaster, and our teaching sites elsewhere in the North West.

Tullie House

Thanks in part to their cooperation with Carlisle City Council, Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery has been able to help pull off some truly grand celebrations for Chinese New Year. While this year's event was smaller in comparison to previous years, it was by no means less impressive!

On Saturday 25 January, Tullie House began the Chinese Year of the Rat with a day of celebrations. A wealth of entertainment for all ages, included Kung Fu and acrobatic performances, drumming workshops, traditional Chinese crafts, storytelling and face painting. Further activities spread into Carlisle city centre with a parade and Lion dances thrilling the public.

The highlight of this event however has been the Museum's new exhibition, ‘Treasures of China’, unveiling the splendour of almost 3,000 years of imperial culture. Most of the collections are on loan from the Oriental Museum at Durham University, and we are delighted that Tullie House has been given this opportunity to show this beautiful collection of Chinese traditional clothing, artwork, and artefacts.

Anna Smalley, Head of Collections and Engagement at Tullie House Museum has been working on the project: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Lancaster University’s Confucius Institute and Carlisle City Council to showcase a unique day of performances and activities to celebrate Chinese New Year. This is a great opportunity for families to learn more about the culture of China and engage in some fantastic activities. It’s our third year running this festival and we are so pleased that, with support from our partners, we can stage this special event once again.”

Tullie House was delighted to report that they had received 750 visitors to the Museum on 25th January for both the exhibition and Chinese New Year events, with a further 600 participating in the Chinese New Year parade on the same day. A further 1,000 people at least have been reported to have visited the exhibition in its first week alone.

The "Treasures of China" exhibition will be open to the public until 26th April. Details can be found on the Tullie House Museum website.

We would like to thank all of our members of staff for their hard work in making all our many celebrations for Chinese New Year take place. This is a very busy time for them, especially since this is traditionally a time when our staff would be enjoying the New Year celebrations with their families in China. This distance, and the added concerns regarding the current Coronavirus situation, mean that this time of year is especially hard on our teams across the North West. Your hard work during this busy and difficult time is a credit to you, and you should all be very proud of everything you've helped accomplish this Chinese New Year!

Back to News