Lancaster welcomes the Year of the Pig

Credit: Dave Mcintyre

By Dave McIntyre and Chloe Street

Celebrations for the Chinese New Year began early in Lancaster over the weekend.

After taking a year out in 2018, Sunday saw the return of the Lancaster Chinese New Year Carnival in the heart of the city.

This was the sixth year the carnival, which is hosted and organised by the Hua Xian Chinese Society and held in the city’s market square.

Traditional Asian street food was on offer at the vast array of stalls which lined the square, along with sweet treats ranging from traditional British pancakes right through to Spanish Churros, this was not only a taste of Chinese culture, but also tastes from all around the world.

The city centre was alive to the sounds, sights and smells of traditional Chinese culture all day. From Dancing dragons and expert martial arts displays to a fantastic drum band, fun fair and face painting for the kids

Event Organiser and Project Manager Raymond Chan said: “It is part of a wider range of events for the Lancaster Chinese Arts Festival, where we try and bring different kinds of arts and culture activities to Lancaster and get people immersed in some of the best things about Chinese culture and all its traditions.”

Unfortunately, the British weather played its part in shortening the day, as the heavens opened just 30 minutes before the traditional parade through the city centre was due to begin.

Sadly, this led to the eventual cancellation of the parade, but it certainly didn’t dampen the spirit of the hundreds of families who attended.

The event has been running for around ten years, but Raymond said: “In the way that it has been like this, a big open-air festival that everyone can come down to, it’s been around for the past six years.

“It’s been a fantastic experience, it’s something that a lot of people really enjoy coming down to, it’s great to kind of share a lot of my history and my heritage with the people of Lancaster.”