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Bristol helps celebrate the Year of the Horse at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

University of Bristol Chinese Lion Dance Troupe

University of Bristol Chinese Lion Dance Troupe

Press release issued: 30 January 2014

The University of Bristol Botanic Garden and Chinese Lion Dance Troupe will help members of the public to celebrate Chinese New Year this weekend [Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 February] when they take part in an action packed programme of events and activities at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery to celebrate the Year of the Horse.

Visitors can expect spectacular lion dance performances, traditional Chinese dances, martial arts performances, family trails, singing, arts and craft activities and much more.

Bristol Museum and Art Gallery kick off the celebrations on Saturday 1 February at 11am with performances of traditional Chinese songs from the South Gloucestershire Chinese Association choir. This will be followed by a colourful and energetic performance from the University of Bristol Chinese Lion Dance at 11.15 am in the presence of the Rt Hon The Lord Mayor, Faruk Choudhury. They will perform again at 3.15pm, with additional performances on Sunday 2 February at 11.15am and 3pm.

Makala Cheung and her band will perform a live set on both days, playing tracks from her new album. There will also be performances on Sunday from Transition, a Bristol indie band who have caused a sensation in the Far East and are currently number three in the Taiwanese charts.

Other highlights include:

  • Martial arts demonstrations with Bristol Wushu and Wutan Martial Arts and Tai Chi workshops.
  • Traditional Fan, Handkerchief and Ribbon dances with Bath Chinese School and the Fun Mandarin Dance Group
  • Calligraphy and Chinese chess with the Chinese Chess and Calligraphy Association
  • Make your own Origami horses with the Bristol and Avon Chinese Women’s group
  • Discover the meanings of Chinese plants and flowers with University of Bristol Botanic Garden
  • Tea tasting with Attic Tea
  • Try on traditional costumes and get a (temporary) tattoo
  • Take the Horse Trail challenge
  • Meet the museum pandas
  • Feature in a film by UWE Bristol
  • Stalls to browse
  • Things to learn with Bristol China Partnership, the Chinese Students and Scholars Association and Bristol Dragon Boats
  • Handling collections from the museum’s own stores
  • Tours of the Eastern Art gallery
  • Exhibition of images of Canton (now called Guangzhou – Bristol’s twin city) by Visualising China
  • Specially themed café.

The event has been made possible, thanks to the support of groups, organisations and individuals from in and around Bristol, helping to showcase many aspects of Chinese culture. The event has been generously sponsored by Grant Thornton, Marriott Hotels, University of Bristol and UWE Bristol.

David Alder, Director of Communications and Marketing at the University of Bristol, said: “The University of Bristol attracts high calibre students from all over the world.  As part of imparting a truly international experience, we feel it is important to support key events from different cultures both within the University and more widely in Bristol.  Chinese New Year is one such event and one which typically attracts interest from students from many countries.”

UWE Bristol Vice-Chancellor, Professor Steve West, added, “We are delighted once again to be sponsoring the Chinese New Year celebrations at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, working with the local community and partners to deliver a fun, cultural weekend for all the City to enjoy. We have over 30 students and staff volunteering over the weekend including some of our Chinese students, who are really keen to share their customs and culture with the visitors to the Museum.” 

Will Hewitt, Director of Sales and Marketing at Bristol Mariott Hotels, said: “As a global hospitality business, the Bristol Marriott Hotels attract travellers from all over the world. We recognise the opportunities which are provided by the inbound Chinese travel market as well as by the significant Chinese student population and are therefore pleased to be supporting the Chinese New Year celebrations.”

John Golding, managing partner at Grant Thornton in the South West, explained: “China continues to attract headlines as potentially the world's biggest market.  Closer to home, the UK's Chinese communities play an increasingly influential role in our economic, social and cultural life, and Bristol is no exception. Grant Thornton is delighted to be a corporate sponsor of the museum’s celebration and the local Chinese community.” 

The Year of the Horse starts on 31 January 2014 February and continues until 18 February 2015. According to the Chinese Zodiac, people born in the year of the horse are energetic, independent, clever, and kind to others.

Chinese New Year, Year of the Horse Celebrations will take place on Saturday and Sunday, 1 and 2 February, from 11am to 4pm at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Queens Road, Bristol BS8 1RL. Tel: 0117 922 3571. 

Free entry, donations welcome.  Please note, there may be a queue at busy times. A full programme of events is available at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.

Further information

Saturday 1 February

11.15am: University of Bristol Chinese Lion Dance in the presence of the Rt Hon The Lord Mayor, Faruk Choudhury
12.05pm Fan and Handkerchief Dance by the Fun Mandarin Dance Group

Sunday 2 February

11.15am: University of Bristol Chinese Lion Dance introduced by Mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson
1.30pm: Performances from Makala Cheung
2.10pm: Live set from Transition