Next week welcomes the start of the Chinese new year and it is out with the Monkey and in with the Rooster. With its strong connections to sister city Ningbo, Nottingham is joining in on the celebrations. Caitlin Hayes reports what’s happening around the city.

In November 2016, Nottingham was declared China’s sister city of the year after its previous ambition to be the UK’s most China-friendly city, and organisers are pulling out all the stops to create a fun festive environment.

Events kick off Saturday 21 January in Market Square where traditional craft stands and food and drink stalls will take over.

The highlight of the event is sure to be the infamous dragon dance.

Councillor Dave Trimble, portfolio holder for leisure and culture said: “We have such strong and historical Chinese links in this city.

“There is a large and vibrant Chinese community in Nottingham and events like this is just one way we can celebrate the culture and strengthen these links.”

The relationship with Ningbo began in 2004 when the University of Nottingham (UoN) chose it as the location for the first Sino Foreign University in China.

The Lakeside Arts Centre of UoN are continuing their strong support by hosting their thirteenth annual event meaning they have come full circle with the Chinese zodiac calendar.

The Trent building will be lit up by digital projections capturing contemporary and traditional elements of Chinese art in a series of free outdoor shows.


Resident of Ningbo and winner of the National Golden Prize for Chinese painting Jiang Hongsheng has collaborated on the project.

He will also be hosting brush painting workshops throughout January and February in the George Green Library of Engineering and Science.

Nicola Beswick who works at the centre said: “Chinese new year is really important to Lakeside Arts and the University of Nottingham.

“It’s out thirteenth year of celebrating the festival as we welcome back the Year of the Rooster.

“With our campus in Ningbo out links with China are ever stronger. We continue to fortify the close relationship between our Universities and cities.

“Chinese brush painting artist Jiang Hongsheng returns on his third visit to Lakeside Arts.

“He is our artist in resident for the next few weeks and his public workshops have sold out they are in such high demand.”

Lakeside Arts are also putting on a South West China exhibition in the Wallner Gallery.

More information about their events is available online in their brochure.

The Alea casino of Upper Parliament Street are also offering Chinese new year based promotions to encourage customers.

A new game appropriately named the Roosters Wall of Fortune is available during January where cash prizes up to £2000 and cuddly rooster toys can be won.

The final draw takes place Sunday 29 at 8pm.