Dragons, tea and tai chi on cards for Chinese New

Dragons: Celebration at Tang restaurant in Preston for last years Chinese New Year

Dragons: Celebration at Tang restaurant in Preston for last years Chinese New Year

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Preston celebrates the Year of the Monkey with weekend of free and fun activities

Preston is set to welcome in the Year of the Monkey with its Chinese New Year celebrations this Saturday.

It’s all on track – it’s the fourth or fifth year that we have done it along with the Confucius Institute

The Harris Museum, which has organised the events along with the UCLan Confucius Institute, hopes to bring in the crowds with events hosted around the museum itself, and also on the town’s Flag Market, from 11am to 3.30pm.

With its mix of free activities, from a tea ceremony to dragon dancing, organiser Sue Latimer is confident there is something for everyone.

“It’s all on track – it’s the fourth or fifth year that we have done it along with the Confucius Institute,” she said.

“It’s a brilliant chance to discover lots of different angles of Chinese cultures, from the food and the drink to the creative artistic side of it all, with calligraphy and paper cutting.

“It’s a real chance to immerse yourself in Chinese culture.”

At 11am in the museum, there will be the chance to discover Chinese board games, and also handle coins that are not usually on display.

There is also a lesson in chopsticks at the back of the Harris café, and the chance to create a Happy New Year card through calligraphy.

At the Harris entrance, on the hour between 12pm and 2pm, a five-piece traditional Chinese music ensemble will be performing – and there will be also a display of the sport of jianzi, described as like playing keepy-uppy with a shuttlecock.

On the Flag Market, at 12.30pm, 1.30pm and 2.30pm, there will be a display of dragon dancing – a new feature for this year – with Chinese dragons believed to bring good luck.

In the same place, on the hour between 1pm and 3pm, there will be five minute demonstrations of tai chi.

Back in the Harris Library, people can discover the Chinese way of drinking tea and enjoy Chinese poetry.

The Chinese New Year, which officially started on Monday, signifies the beginning of the Year of the Monkey.

, with people born under the sign said to be enthusiastic, self-assured and jealous.