Chinese New Year is just around the corner on Saturday 25 January, as we welcome in the Year of the Rat. Here in Leicester there’s an exciting programme of events running from 25 January – 9 February, led by Cosmopolitan Arts and De Montfort University.

With a wonderful range of exciting free events across the city, including traditional Chinese New Year performances, cultural arts and activities, we have selected a number of the top activities that you can immerse yourself in over the next couple of weeks and celebrate the dawn of the Year of the Rat.

Sunday 26 January (3pm – 5pm)
Chinese New Year Procession

From Jubilee Square to New Market Square, witness the magnificent and dazzling procession as it moves across the city. The processions will culminate in a spectacular grand finale performance with large scale animated film projection performance, pyrotechnics and traditional dragon and lion dance.

Instant, Insight, Inscape: Chinese Paintings by SUN Jiujiang & WANG Yu (The Curve, Jan 28 – Feb 6, 2020). Picture from DMU Confucius Institute twitter @DMU_CI

Tuesday 28 January – Thursday 6 February
Instant, Insight, Inscape Exhibition (Chinese Paintings by SUN Jiujiang and WANG Yu)

Head into Curve from 28 January to see esteemed Chinese artists Sun Jiujiang and Wang Yu exhibiting their unique artworks. Sun’s work depicts mountain and water landscapes, whilst Wang Yu creates scenes featuring birds and flowers. Seemingly far apart, their stunning collections of beautiful and delicate artworks both adhere to the time-honoured traditions of Chinese culture and are curated here to showcase Chinese painting to the city

Friday 31 January (5pm – 10pm)
#LastFriday Chinese New Year edition

#LastFriday gets a Chinese New Year twist! Everything you know and love about #LastFriday at LCB Depot will still be there with wonderful food, great music and good vibes, but you can also look forward to fantastic lion dance performances and traditional workshops throughout the evening, plus much more.

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Saturday 1 February (11am – 4pm)
Family Celebration Day

Join the Family Celebration Day at New Walk Museum with traditional performances and workshops, including live music and lion dance, suitable for all ages.

Saturday 1 and Sunday 2nd February
Highcross Leicester Chinese New Year Event

Enjoy a cultural twist to your shopping trip at Highcross Leicester, as you’re taken on a journey to celebrate Chinese New Year with some traditional Chinese entertainment for the whole family. You’ll be treated to Chinese Lion & Dragon dances as well as a performance of Chinese acrobatics in the centre.

You’ll be able to keep the youngsters entertained as well, with opportunities for children to make their own dragon mask and take part in a Dragon Parade.

Saturday 8 February (11am – 4.30pm)
Chinese New Year Finale Event

This year’s finale event will take place on Humberstone Gate in a beautiful heated marquee. You’ll be able to take part in a range of traditional arts workshops and enjoy performances of dance, live music, martial arts and lion dance.

Bringing such vibrancy to the city centre, BID Leicester is sponsoring this year’s Chinese New Year activity.

Director, Simon Jenner, commented, “BID Leicester is pleased to be supporting this programme of events that celebrates the start of the Year of the Rat. Chinese New Year is a vibrant and colourful festival, further highlighting the diversity of our city.”

“We’re happy to be working with De Montfort University and Cosmopolitan Arts on this programme which combines traditional celebrations with stunning art exhibitions, workshops, food and drink, and much more. It is a fantastic opportunity for the people of Leicester to enjoy free, family events and learn more about Chinese culture.”


With so much going on for all the family to enjoy, be sure to check our the full event information via the De Montfort University website.


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