Southside celebrations welcomed Chinese Year of the Monkey

Thousands of festival-goers descended on Birmingham’s Southside on Sunday as it played host to the city’s biggest ever Chinese New Year celebrations and welcomed in the Year of the Monkey.

The event saw traditional Chinese music, acrobats, martial artists and more performing on the main stage in The Arcadian, at the heart of Southside, as well as a lion procession in Birmingham’s Grand Central. 

The festivities then spilled out into the surrounding streets at Hurst Street and Inge Street, which was filled with street food vendors and traditional market stalls. Southside also hosted craft workshops where children made special Year of the Monkey masks, and a fairground was in place for those of all ages to enjoy.

Organised by the Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee (BCFC), the 2016 festival was a huge success and welcomed an estimated 25,000 visitors. It was also the first year that the event was live streamed on the BCFC website. 

James Wong, chair of the Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee, said: 

This year’s event was the most successful Chinese New Year we’ve ever had. A record number of people came to celebrate and our social media went into overdrive. We were also delighted to have live streamed the event for the first time this year, allowing those from all over the world to join in on the festivities and making it a truly family-friendly affair.
I would like to thank all those involved especially our sponsors Lebara, Genting Casino Chinatown, London & Cambridge Properties and Southside for their support.

Julia Chance, Southside BID manager, said:

The 2016 event brought thousands of new and returning visitors to Southside’s Chinatown. Despite the fact that the festival lost it’s funding from Birmingham City Council, the entire community came together to raise much needed funds. We were truly touched by the support of our sponsors, market traders, street food vendors and visitors, and the success of this year’s event is a true testament to the community spirit in Southside.  

Lina Higuita, centre manager for the Arcadian, said:

We were delighted to have hosted and supported this fabulous occasion once again. The Chinese New Year festival was a great day for all those who attended and this fun and vibrant showcase of Chinese culture is always a highlight in The Arcadian Centre’s social calendar.

Birmingham’s Chinese New Year festival took place on Sunday 7th February between 12.30pm – 5.00pm in the Arcadian and surrounding streets.

Chinese Festival Committee Birmingham is currently hosting a social media competition. Share your photos of Chinese New Year in Southside by tweeting @CNYBirmingham or mention Chinese Festival Committee Birmingham on Facebook with a chance to win a £10 voucher at Caffe Chino. 

For more information about the Chinese New Year celebrations in Southside, please visit or


CAPTION: Chinese New Year 2016 performances in The Arcadian Centre, Southside



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