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Kent Chinese New Year celebrations, the Year of the Dog 2018

By Angela Cole

Let’s welcome in the New Year again in 2018 - but this time in Chinese style. Here's some of the Chinese New Year celebrations on offer

HEMPSTEAD VALLEY SHOPPING CENTRE, GILLINGHAM

On top of the half term activities at the centre with the kmfm Street Team, on Saturday, February 17 and Sunday, February 18, there will be Chinese New Year-themed activities. Look out for treasure hunts, colouring Chinese dragons and a balloon modeller. For details about the free fun, visit hempsteadvalley.com or like facebook.com/HempsteadValley

Chinese New Year celebrations start this weekend
Chinese New Year celebrations start this weekend

GRAVESEND

Traditional Chinese entertainment comes to the streets of the town with the “awakening” of a lion on Tuesday, February 20.

The event starts at 11am in Community Square where the lion will receive green leaves from the Mayor and local businesses. Entertainment will follow in The Woodville auditorium from 11.30am, including Chinese martial arts, singing and dancing, with the events organised in partnership with Ying Tao Association and Twin Dynasty.

Cllr Gurjit Bains said: “The Chinese Year of the Dog is often recognised as promoting being strong willed and loyal to your friends... so let’s take this opportunity to... embrace the many cultures and religious faiths that makes up our wholesome community.”

More details here.

ROYAL ENGINEERS MUSEUM, GILLINGHAM

There’s a host of children’s activities, celebrating Chinese Year of the Dog, at the museum in Prince Arthur Road, Gillingham.

On Thursday, February 15, inspired by mascot, Snob the Dog, who was rescued by Royal Engineers and brought back to Gillingham in the Crimean War, there will be Woof Woof Year Of The Dog. Young visitors can make their own non-sew sock dog to use as a companion. On Friday, February 16, Saturday, February 17 and Sunday, February 18, visitors can create their own Chinese Chao Guan Hat, complete with red tassles and topped with gem stones. Activities cost £3 each, plus normal admission charges.

Drop in between 10.30am and 1pm, and 1.30pm and 3.30pm. To book call 01634 822839 or visit re-museum.co.uk

CHATHAM

Cabaret groups will perform on Saturday, February 17, outside the Pentagon Centre. Many Medway groups also head to the big celebrations in London, which take place on Sunday, February 17. There’s a colourful parade in Charing Cross Road, activities and foodie treats in Chinatown, family-friendly entertainment in Leicester Square. Trafalgar Square hosts the main stage performances.

This year is the Year of the Dog in the Chinese zodiac
This year is the Year of the Dog in the Chinese zodiac

THE YEAR OF THE DOG

Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally last two weeks in China and this year they start on Friday, February 16. The Dog is the eleventh of the zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which the animals arrived to his party.

People born in the Year of the Dog are loyal and never abandon their friends, family or work. They are honest and just, popular in social circles and good at helping others. Everyone needs one as a friend for advice and help. They are often anxious inside – if they decide to do something, they have the will and determination to do it.

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