Start the year with a bang!
T HE Year of the Snake, which begins on Sunday, might not initially sound the best basis for a celebration – but there's loads going on locally to keep you entertained.
As usual, Lakeside Arts Centre has organised an extravaganza in honour of the Chinese New Year and everyone is invited to join the fun.
On Sunday itself, there will be outdoor celebrations featuring traditional lion and dragon dances – performed by local schoolchildren and members of the city's Chinese community.
Plus, there will be Chinese music and photography, culminating in the now familiar spectacular fireworks display at Highfields Park overlooking the boating lake.
The event, at 4.30pm-6pm, also includes traditional Chinese arts and crafts at a drop-in event in the Angear Visitor Centre from 1pm, including demonstrations of Chinese crafts, calligraphy, paper folding and tai chi.
Away from Lakeside, families can head to Sir Julien Cahn Pavilion, at West Park in West Bridgford, to try a range of Chinese-inspired arts and crafts activities from 2pm to 4pm.
Meanwhile, Beeston town centre will hold its Chinese New Year celebrations on Saturday, in partnership with Beeston BID and Bartons. There's a packed programme of events in Beeston Square from 10am to 12.30pm, including a family procession, lantern dance, dragon mask workshop, dragon dancing and more.
And over at Bartons from noon to 4pm, there will be cultural workshops including painting, calligraphy, Tai Chi, puppets and storytelling.
Also on Saturday, Arnot Hill Park in Arnold, will be presenting a series of Chinese-inspired arts and crafts activities including dragon-themed costumes, Gameland workshop, lantern-making and a lantern parade around the lake at 5.15pm.
Finally, Stonebridge City Farm in Sneinton will be joining in the fun on Saturday, with free Chinese-themed arts and crafts activities, including lantern making, calligraphy and a range of Chinese dishes in the cafe. Donations are welcome.
Shona Powell, director of Lakeside, says: "Chinese New Year has become a popular part of Nottingham's cultural landscape in recent years.
"Links between China and Nottinghamshire are becoming ever stronger and we hope that this year's event will be a fitting celebration of Spring Festival – the most widely celebrated event in the Asian calendar."
Looking ahead, students from the University of Nottingham Confucius Institute and Nottingham Chinese Students and Scholars Association will present a special Chinese New Year Gala at the Albert Hall, Nottingham, on Sunday, February 24.
The performance includes traditional and modern Chinese music, song and dance,