A group of Sunderland students will be showing off their language skills as part of the city’s first major celebrations to welcome the Year of the Monkey.
The group, from the Mandarin Club at St Anthony’s RC School, will perform a number of traditional songs in Chinese.
For the first time, Sunderland will hold its own large scale Chinese New Year celebrations.
The event will be held on February 7, from 1pm to 5pm in Keel Square, with a whole host of activities and performances.
Harry Collinson, of Rough Diamond Entertainment – which has helped bring the programme together, said: “We are pleased so many people have got behind what we promise will be a really special day for everyone.”
There will be a dance performance in traditional costume by students from the University of Sunderland and a Kung Fu display to Jilin – also known as “Chinese Unicorn” dancing.
The afternoon of celebrations will end with a procession of red packet lanterns, fireworks and closure by the Mayor of Sunderland Coun Barry Curran.
The event was created by Wearside businessmen Harry Collinson and Ian Wong, who have worked for months to bring together each aspect of the event.
Mr Wong, who runs Asiana restaurant in the city centre, said: “We have a large Chinese community here in Sunderland, so it seemed only right to host a huge Chinese New Year celebration and get everyone in the city involved.”
The Chief Executive of Sunderland’s Business Improvement District has also shown his support for the event.
He said: “It’s great to see everyone in the community coming together to join in the city’s first large scale Chinese New Year celebrations.
“It will be a real opportunity for the city to embrace Chinese culture and drive visitors into the city centre.”