Hartlepool’s Chinese New Year celebrations ‘the best yet’

A lion dance at the Chinese New Year celebrations at the Grand Hotel, Hartlepool.
A lion dance at the Chinese New Year celebrations at the Grand Hotel, Hartlepool.

Colourful celebrations to herald the Chinese New Year in Hartlepool were hailed as the best yet.

People enjoyed traditional song and dance displays and tucked into authentic Chinese food at the Grand Hotel on Sunday afternoon.

A traditional fan dance at the Chinese New Year celebrations at the Grand Hotel, Hartlepool.

A traditional fan dance at the Chinese New Year celebrations at the Grand Hotel, Hartlepool.

This year’s festivities were supported by Chinese performers, who travelled from Yorkshire to perform stunning opera singing and play string music instruments.

Others performed beautiful fan and ribbon dances and a lively lion danced between guests’ tables.

Sandra Chow, chairman of Hartlepool Chinese Association, said: “It was really successful. We get more and more people every year.

“A lot of people came from all backgrounds. We had dancing, singing, a lot of entertainment and the food was excellent and delicious.

A traditional ribbon dance at the Chinese New Year celebrations at the Grand Hotel, Hartlepool.

A traditional ribbon dance at the Chinese New Year celebrations at the Grand Hotel, Hartlepool.

“People were fighting to get tickets so the message for next year is book early.

“I would like to thank all of the volunteers who kindly donated their time and helped pull everything together.”

The celebrations have been held in the Grand Hotel for the last few years.

Volunteer Peter Gowland who helped to organise the event, added: “It is so opulent and is decorated in red, which is very significant to the Chinese.

A lion dance at the Chinese New Year celebrations at the Grand Hotel, Hartlepool.

A lion dance at the Chinese New Year celebrations at the Grand Hotel, Hartlepool.

“We spent ages rigging it up and had lots of banners.

“We pushed the boat out this year and it was the biggest we have done.”

The event was supported by Hartlepool MP Iain Wright, who attended with his son Billy.

Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger was also there.

In Chinese culture, the New Year is one of the most important holidays and the celebrations promote good luck, happiness, wealth and longevity.

Each year is represented by a different animal, with 2016 being the year of the monkey.