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Purple image with graphic of a dragon and the greeting Happy New Year of the Dragon in English and Chinese

We would like to wish all those preparing for and celebrating the arrival of the Year of the Dragon a very happy and healthy New Year. A range of exciting celebrations will be taking place across the University and City to mark the special occasion.

Many of our college communities and student groups will be planning their own festivities over the next couple of weeks, as well as larger community events taking place across the city and at the University’s Oriental Museum.

Join the celebrations

On Saturday 10 February, Durham city will welcome the new year with free activities, performances, and entertainment from a variety of different groups, organised by Durham County Council. The lion dance procession will wind its way from Millennium Place through the city centre at 12.30pm, entertaining visitors with a colourful display and a special appearance by the junior dragon dance team from West Rainton Primary School.

Get involved

This year, Durham University’s Dunelm House will host two shows where visitors can enjoy traditional music, songs, costumes, and dance performed by the Chinese Scholars and Students Association, the Han Fu Society and Durham Chinese School.

Reaching out into the community

International student volunteers have been mentoring pupils from St Margaret's Primary School, Shincliffe Primary School, Wingate Primary School, St Andrew’s Primary School, Bishop Auckland and St Mary's Primary School, Newton Aycliffe, who are taking part in a special performance to showcase their knowledge of the new year traditions.

Learn Chinese!

Clayport Library will also be sharing in the New Year celebrations, giving people the opportunity to learn Chinese with our students. Drop in to one of these sessions to pick up some useful words and phrases. Whilst there, join Lip Lee for a lesson in papercraft to learn the intricate art of origami and mask making.

Celebrations at the Oriental Museum

Visitors will also have the opportunity to get up close and handle some of the ancient items from the Oriental Museum’s collections, as well as taking part in a crowd crafting event to create Dragon decorations for the Museum. To round off the celebrations, a lantern festival will take place on 24th February where visitors can try fantastic crafts, sample delicious New Year food, listen to stories, music and more. Booking will be required and tickets are available now. 

Durham Global Week

The Lantern Festival is the culmination of over two weeks of New Year festivities and marks the launch of Durham Global Week, a series of events and activities to highlight the University’s international impact, through its students, staff and global community.

Global Week will take place from 24 February until 3 March and offers a wide range of activities from lectures to performances, talks and film screenings for everyone to enjoy.

Find out more