CHINESE NEW YEAR: Where to celebrate CNY in Yorkshire? Plus activities, crafts and what to do

CHINESE NEW YEAR: Where to celebrate CNY in Yorkshire? Plus activities, crafts and what to do

Chinese New Year aka the Spring Festival is upon us (according to the Lunar Calendar) and we are now embarking on the Year of the Pig, so we’ve been searching for things to do to celebrate Chinese New Year in Yorkshire.

This Chinese New Year is the 12th year of the traditional 12 year Chinese Calendar, so it has been said that it will be a lucrative new year for Peppa Pig (as the new Chinese New Year symbol for the Year of the Pig).

As a mixed race family living here in Yorkshire, I have always loved celebrating Chinese New Year and finding things to do. So we have been searching for what to do this Chinese New Year with the family, throughout Yorkshire and at home.

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What’s On in Yorkshire this Chinese New Year:

  • Sheffield Chinese New Year Extravaganza on at Sheffield City Hall on February 6th. This is a Yorkshire family favourite of mine with dancing, singing, stalls, music and much more (it’s jam packed so can be quite a long show albeit lively).
    Traditional Chinese performing arts including dance, acrobatics and martial arts to celebrate Lunar Year of the Pig.
    The event is organised by Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Chinese Community Centre, Wanlin Dance Academy, Chinese Students and Scholars Association, Lai Yin Association, Hallam University. This annual celebration is a cultural outreach event where the local Chinese Community celebrates alongside people from across the city.Pre-Show at 4:00 – 6:45pm (free admission): will include Stalls, school children’s artwork display, China in your Eyes photographs, Stories and Videos’ display, prize-giving ceremonies, Cultural Activities, Food Sale and Stage Performance at the Ballroom.Main Show: will be held at the Main Hall (ticketed), at 7.00pm.Venue: Sheffield City Hall, Barker’s Pool, Sheffield S1 2JA. Tickets can be purchased at the Office or by calling 0114 2228332.Tickets: Standard at £8 each; Children under 12, Students and Seniors at £6 each.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE_PpDCO5Lw&w=560&h=315

  • If you fancy a night out there’s a Chinese New Year Party on at Plug nightclub in Sheffield on 5th February from 22.30, organised by Sheffield Hallam University and University of Sheffield.
  • Chinese New Year Extravaganza is on at Royal Hall in Harrogate on 14th February 2019. Touring across the country to celebrate the biggest festive event on the Chinese calendar, ‘Chinese New Year Extravaganza’ features a team of performers showcasing amazing Chinese performing arts. From the cheerful spirit of the auspicious Lion Dance, to the awe-inspiring contortion, the show is a colourful display of Chinese cultural tradition.
  • If you’re happy to head a bit further afield North East family fun blog, share where to celebrate Chinese New Year in the North East .
  • Also, over in Manchester they are holding a full weekend of Chinese New Year festivities from 7-10th February in the city centre. And Liverpool celebrates the Spring Festival 8-10th February 2019.

What to look out for next year, Chinese New Year 2020 in Yorkshire:

  • Leeds Chinese Community School holds a special performance at Leeds Town Hall. This year’s Rhythm of the Spring show took place at the end of January.
  • Chinese New Year Gala organised by students and scholars from University of Leeds.
  • On February 1st a Chinese New Year Gala took place at Joseph Rowntree Theatre organised by the University of York Chinese Society.In the tradition of mainland China, everyone would watch the New Year Gala with their family on New Year Eve. As people are studying or working in the UK and not able to fly back home, the Chinese Society held its own New Year Gala to help people in the city feel less homesick.

Here’s how to celebrate  Chinese New Year, the ‘Spring Festival’ at home

A selection of blogging buddies have helped me to come up with these ideas.

  • Crafts

Danielle Duggins shares her Chinese Fan Craft and Puppet Craft  ideas here.

Heather McAvan recommends these crafts: Paper Plate Puppet, Chinese Dragon Lantern Craft and Paper Plate fan .

Jessica Harvey suggests making this, Chinese New Year Craft Dragon .

Jenny Kearney has this Free Chinese New Year printable colouring in picture for you to to try.

Jane Arschavir also has this free printable and this Drum Craft where you make a drum out of paper plates.

Jade Bremner  suggests making a simple Chinese dragon.

She said: “Literally just print off some dragons, colour them in and pop them on lollipop sticks. It’s fun and cheap.” 

Jade’s friend Spike Davis-Riseborough also made this cute Origami pig.

pig origami Spike Davis-Riseborough

Got some spare jam jars? this lantern craft is a great idea…

  • Food 

Blogger Katy Stevens recommends this Salt and Pepper Chicken recipe … 

Bonne Maman also shared these Chinese New Year recipes with us…

Chinese Duck a L’Orange

(Serves 2)

Ingredients:

·       2 duck breasts

·       Salt and pepper

·       100g Bonne Maman Bitter Orange, Sweet Orange or Tangy Mandarin Marmalade

·       3tbsp soy sauce

·       1tbsp sesame seeds

 

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7. Slash the skin of the duck breasts then season generously and place – skin side down – in a hot, dry frying pan over a high heat. Cook for 2 minutes then turn and cook for 2 minutes again.

2. Meanwhile, in a small roasting tin mix the marmalade with the soy sauce and sesame seeds. Add the part cooked duck and coat well.

3. Roast in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

4. Drizzle the juices from the roasting tin over the meat and serve with potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

 

 Avocado, Prawn and Cabbage Salad 

(Serves 6)

Ingredients:

·       6 fat garlic cloves, thinly sliced

·       2 tbsp vegetable oil

·       350g (12oz) raw shelled prawns

·       25g (1oz) roasted cashew nuts, finely chopped

·       1 ripe avocado

·       125g (4oz) white cabbage or Chinese cabbage, finely shredded

·       1 small green mango, peeled, stoned and shredded

·       1 small handful of fresh mint and coriander leaves, roughly chopped

·       6 spring onions, shredded

For the dressing:

·       ½ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

·       1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

·       2 generous tbsp. Bonne Maman Apricot Conserve

·       Juice of 2 limes

·       1 tbsp fish sauce

·       2 tbsp vegetable oil

Method:

1.    Put all the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake together.

2.   Fry the garlic in the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat until golden and crispy. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and set aside.

3.   In the same oil, stir-fry the prawns with the roasted cashew nuts for about 2-3 minutes until the prawns are just pink. Add to the garlic, spoon over 2 tablespoons of the dressing and set aside to cool.

4.   When ready to serve, peel, stone and dice the avocado and toss together with the cabbage, mango, herbs, spring onions and prawn mixture. Serve immediately, handing round the remaining dressing in a separate bowl.

 

Cooks Tips

– Make the dressing up to 1 week ahead and keep in a jar in the fridge. Cook the prawn mixture the day before needed. Keep chilled and toss everything together just before serving.

– This dressing is also delicious spooned over pan-fried chicken fillets and served with basmati rice

Whatever you’re doing this Chinese New Year, here at Yorkshire Families we want to wish you a happy and healthy New Year! Do let us know any ideas or recommendations in the comments below. Thank you!

 

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HALLOWEEN, AUTUMN & OCTOBER HALF-TERM: Where to go and what to do in Yorkshire?

HALLOWEEN, AUTUMN & OCTOBER HALF-TERM: Where to go and what to do in Yorkshire?

From pumpkin picking and autumnal crafts to spooky events and slime workshops, there is so much on offer this Autumn and Halloween in Yorkshire.

Now the Mid-Autumn Mooncake Festival is over (we celebrate the Chinese festival in our household), we have been on the hunt for things to do locally in our beloved county of Yorkshire.

One of our favourite places to go is Farmer Copley’s  in West Yorkshire who boast the UK’s largest Pumpkin Festival. But we’ve never actually visited during the Pumpkin season, so that’s on our to-do list this year. And fellow northern blogger Cora Harrison highly recommends the farm in Pontefract and said that they picked a blue pumpkin last year at Farmer Copley’s!

Not too far from there is the fabulous Yorkshire Sculpture Park who are putting on a family-friendly Autumnal Bushcraft Day. We went to one of their family days over summer and loved it!

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The Hepworth Wakefield also has crafts on throughout the weekends and Wakefield School Holidays such as Art Pods and Craft tote bags to borrow on Saturdays, Mondays and Fridays.

crafts free family activities at the hepworth gallery wakefield art pods

Wakefield Museums are always free and most of their family-friendly workshops are free too (including Wakefield Museum, Pontefract Museum and Castleford Museum). To find out What’s On check out their leaflet here.

Don’t miss a super spooky event for older children (advised 12 plus) on Hell Lane in Wakefield… it’s Yorkshire Scare Grounds Scream Park, combining special effects and actors in an immersive experience as well as a pop-up bar in the severed head!

Also close by for the whole family and scare-free is a Light Party happening on Halloween, 31st October at Portobello Community Centre in Wakefield.

Or you can jump on a ghost train with special Halloween-inspired story-telling at Kirklees Light Railway with their ‘Half Term Horrors’ event.

There’s also plenty of free activities on at the National Coal Mining Museum this half-term.

Up in North Yorkshire, we always enjoy a visit to Stockeld Park who have a special Halloween Adventure on from 25th-31st October during the Autumn October half-term. They’ll be transforming the maze each night into something spooky as well as their Woodland Trail with Nordic Ski, the Illuminated Enchanted Forest and a real ice rink.  I would recommend their Christmas Experience too.

Blogger Amy Downes recommends York for the slightly older kids.

She said: “York is amazing for ghost walks on Halloween – everybody goes dressed up and the people who lead them are really lovely and entertaining. We actually booked a night over there last year at the Holiday Inn which is a 40 minutes walk into the city centre and after the walk Mummy and Daddy had a quick pint afterwards while our toddler was sleeping – recommend Valhalla the Viking Bar which isn’t very well known or the Guy Fawkes pub close to York Minster to get you in the mood for Bonfire Night (Fawkes was born in the house which is now a pub).”

Europe’s largest maize maze, York Maze, reopens on 27th October until 4th November for a special Hallowscream event.

Then if we journey to South Yorkshire, Trips with a Tot recommends Halloween at Whirlow Hall Farm with their Witches in the Wood event on 27th October, a free Spooktacular at Conisbrough Castle or Slime Workshops at Medieval Mayhem, a play centre in Sheffield.

Museums Sheffield (which includes Millennium Gallery, Graves Gallery and Weston Park Museum) always have a variety of free family activities on rom Craft and Art Clubs to Fridays for Under 5s. Make sure you check what’s on here.

museums sheffield free family activities millenium gallery

Then drive over to Barnsley for Cannon Hall Farm’s Halloween event… The Pumpkin Festival where young witches and wizards can complete challenges to graduate from the Wizardry School.

So whatever you get up to this Autumn, please let us know below or if you have any recommendations… we’d love to hear about them!

Don’t forget we’re on twitter @YorkshireFams and Yorkshire Families on Facebook.