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China returns to Carlisle city centre for the Year of the Pig

Chinese New Year Festival in Carlisle. Credit: Stuart Walker/Tullie House Museum and Gallery

Families will get a taste of Chinese culture as part of a Chinese New Year festival taking place in Carlisle City Centre and Tullie House Museum.

Following the success of the 2018 new year celebrations, with over 2,500 people taking part, Tullie House, Carlisle City Council and Lancaster University Confucius Institute have again joined together to bring China back to Carlisle. The festival is taking place on Saturday 9th February, from 11am in Carlisle City Centre. Throughout the day there will be dance, performance, crafts and activities including dragon dances, acrobatics, juggling and a Shaolin master in action!

Local shops and businesses are invited to join in with the festival spirit by decorating their windows in a Chinese theme. Any businesses interested should contact [email protected]

At 3.30pm a parade featuring spectacular lion dance performers, will lead participants back to Tullie House Museum at 5pm for a FREE (tickets are free but must be booked in advance) evening of Chinese entertainment featuring Jin Long Academy. A FREE drop-in craft activity will take place in the Community Room from 4pm to keep you entertained before the performance starts. Tickets for a delicious hot Chinese buffet after the performance will also be available to purchase. For more information go to

Anna Smalley, Head of Collections and Engagement at Tullie House Museum has been working on the project: “After a successful 2018 we are delighted to be working in partnership with Lancaster University’s Confucius Institute and Carlisle City Council again, showcasing a unique afternoon and evening of performances and activities to celebrate Chinese New Year. This is a great opportunity for families to learn more about the culture of China and engage in some fantastic activities. It is also a great way for the local community and businesses to get involved in something different.”

Dr. Derek Hird, Deputy Director of Lancaster University Confucius Institute and Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies said: “We are delighted that Lancaster University Confucius Institute’s close partnership with Tullie House continues to provide exciting opportunities for people in Carlisle to experience and learn more about Chinese cultural traditions such as the spectacular lion and dragon dances, acrobatics, juggling and crafts. In China, pigs are associated with wealth, and so we wish everyone in Carlisle a prosperous and happy year of the pig!”

Leader of Carlisle City Council, Cllr Colin Glover, said: “We’re delighted to be once again supporting the Chinese New Year celebration event. Last year’s event was a great success and I hope that residents and visitors will join in and enjoy the activities in the city centre and at Tullie House.”

To celebrate the Chinese festival, The Garden Restaurant at Tullie House will be serving a hot Chinese buffet from 6pm. Tickets for the buffet are £18 for adults, £9 for Children Under 16 and £50 for a family of up to 2 adults and 2 children. Further information about the buffet can be found at

The performance at Tullie will start at 5pm in the Lecture Theatre. Tickets are free, however spaces are limited therefore booking is essential. Contact 01228 618700 to book your place.

This event has been kindly supported by Carlisle City Council and Lancaster University Confucius Institute.

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