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Bristol welcomes the Year of the Sheep

The University of Bristol Chinese Lion Dance Troupe at last year's event Denny Wong

Press release issued: 18 February 2015

People will be flocking to the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery this weekend for a cultural spectacular to welcome in the Year of the Sheep. Students and staff from the University of Bristol will be helping visitors to celebrate Chinese New Year in traditional style, with dancing dragon and lion performances, martial arts, traditional Chinese dances, storytelling, family trails, arts and craft activities, live music and much more on Saturday and Sunday [21 and 22 February].

One of the key attractions is the authentic lion dance performance by the University of Bristol Chinese Lion Dance Troupe, which takes place twice a day.

The Chinese Students and Scholars’ Association (CSSA) are also performing traditional dance, music and song at 3pm on Saturday.

The University of Bristol Chinese Chess and Calligraphy Society will be on hand to teach calligraphy, while the CSSA has a stand to convey the culture of China where the public can handle objects, play games and dress up in traditional costume.

There will also be a display from the University of Bristol Botanic Garden, which is showcasing its Chinese Medicinal Herb Garden - the largest collection of traditional Chinese medicinal herbs in the UK. Dr Tony Harrison, the Chinese Herb Garden facilitator, will be on the stand between 12pm and 3pm on Sunday.

A special pop-up exhibition, entitled 'Darwent Revisited: Shanghai now and then', promises to be a visual feast, showing how the world’s most populated city has changed over the past century.

Photographer Jamie Carstairs, a Digitization Officer at the University of Bristol, followed in the footsteps of local church leader Revd Charles Darwent who wrote a book instructing tourists where to get the best shots of the city and to capture Chinese life in 1904 – a time when Shanghai was making the transition to becoming one of Asia's busiest and most important ports.

It’s part of the Visualising China project, which is a virtual online archive of Chinese life and gives users the opportunity to explore and interact with more than 8,000 digitised photos of China taken between 1850 and 1950.

Around the museum there will be a sheep trail with rooms of Chinese culture to explore, including mask making, tea tasting, calligraphy, paper folding, massage and tours of the museum’s magnificent Eastern Art collection.

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery is open from 10am until 5pm on both Saturday and Sunday, with performances from 11am to 4pm. The Lion Dance Troupe is performing at 11.40am and 3.30pm on Saturday, plus 11.30am and 3.45pm on Sunday.

A full schedule is available on the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery website.

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