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Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year in the North East and Yorkshire

Lunar New Year in the North East and Yorkshire
What's on
February 2024
Reading time 2 Minutes

Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year and Spring Festival, is the most important holiday in China and will be celebrated across the world this week

As its name suggests, the festival is timed according to the lunar calendar and lasts for two weeks, beginning on the second new moon after the winter solstice and finishing with the first full moon of the new year. This year, celebrations begin on 10th February, and end on 24th February.

Traditions vary between regions, but like all the best celebrations, they typically begin with families reuniting to share a traditional feast. Other traditions involve giving money to children in red envelopes, fireworks and the iconic lion dances that process through the streets. The Lunar New Year celebrations typically end with the Lantern Festival. The zodiac animals associated with each year also vary between countries, but largely coalesce around the Chinese zodiac, making this year the Year of the Dragon (or the mythical naga in Thailand). 

There are plenty of events you can go to to celebrate the Lunar New Year across the North East and Yorkshire this year, and we’ve compiled a list of some of the bigger ones below. 



10th February, 10am–4pm
Lantern Festival at Oriental Museum, 24th February 6pm–8pm

There are a great variety of events happening to celebrate the Lunar New Year in Durham, from crafts at Oriental Museum to Chinese language taster sessions at Durham University. However, the event we really don’t want to miss is the Lion Dance which begins at 12.30pm at Millennium Place, when the mayor will attempt to bring good luck to the city by catching a lettuce spat out of the dancing lion’s mouth (fingers crossed). The lion dance will then process across the city with the help of local schoolchildren.
To see a full programme of events and find out more, visit


11th February, 11am
Arrive at Grey’s Monument at 11am on 11th February to see demonstrations from participants in this year’s parade. The Lion Dance and parade will then travel across Newcastle, and arrive at the arch into China Town just in time for lunch at noon!
For more information visit

North East England Five Schools Chinese New Year Gala

Tuesday 13th February, 6.30pm, 02 City Hall, Newcastle
Join students from the North East’s five universities for this vibrant variety show celebrating Chinese culture. Expect an evening full of traditional music and dance bringing together local and international communities.


18th February, 11am–3pm, Sunniside Gardens
Sunderland’s Chinese New Year celebrations have been planned for the mid-point of the festival this year. From 11am–3pm on Saturday 18th February, Sunniside Gardens will play host to music, dancing, craft workshops and food and drink stalls.


9th–13th February
A whole host of events will be happening in Sheffield to celebrate the Lunar New Year and raise money for Sheffield Children’s Hospital. The celebrations start at 5pm on 9th February, when the Children’s Hospital will be turning on their fabulous dragon light display. Over the weekend, the Peace Gardens will host two full days of food, activities and performances between 10am and 6pm. In the evenings there’s a gala of Chinese music, dance and storytelling at the Octagon Centre, and a charity banquet hosted by local restaurant China Red the following evening.
To book tickets and see a full programme of events, visit


10th February, 11am–2.30pm, Leeds Minster
From 11am on Saturday 10th February stalls will be set up around Leeds Minster offering visitors food and drink, and there will be Chinese calligraphy, tea tasting, games, music and the chance to buy handmade arts and crafts.


10th February, 1pm–3pm, Beeforth’s Hive, South Cliff Gardens
The community centre at South Cliff Gardens, Beeforth’s Hive, will be hosting an afternoon of free family crafts to celebrate the Lunar New Year. No booking is required, but children must be accompanied by an adult so we recommend coming a bit early to take some time to enjoy the gardens before dropping in. 

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