Communities in the West End of Glasgow have come together this week to celebrate Chinese New Year.
The Confucius Institute, a Chinese activities and research centre partnered with the University of Glasgow, hosted a night of music, dance and martial arts performances at Cottiers Theatre on Tuesday, ahead of the official turn of the lunar year on Saturday.
Deputy director of the organisation, Duo Long, said: “We have been celebrating Chinese New Year at the institute since its inception in 2011. It’s such an important time of the year for Chinese people living in Glasgow, especially if they are away from their families.
“The party is a great way for them to get together and embrace the New Year.”
A performance troupe from Harbin North University in Northern China travelled to Glasgow for the festivities, playing to an audience of almost 200 people.
The excited spectators also had the chance to participate in the New Year tradition of dragon dancing.
One attendee, Laura Moran, said: “It was so interesting to get an insight into such a different culture.
Hillhead is home to a concentrated population of people of Chinese origin, especially due to the presence of the university which attracts many foreign students from overseas countries such as China.
While the event was to celebrate a Chinese holiday, people of all backgrounds were invited to take part in the event, particularly those with an interest in learning more about aspects of Chinese life.
Miss Long said: “It is also a fantastic opportunity for Scottish people to learn more about Chinese history and culture.
“It brings the people from two countries together, and it is important to bridge the gap between the two communities and strengthen the already strong links between China and Scotland.”
While those of Chinese ethnicity remain a small minority group throughout the country, their numbers have more than doubled in the last ten years according to the Scottish Government’s most recent demographic information.
Janice Dickson, chair of the Scotland-China Association, said: “It’s important to continue to cultivate relationships with all the different cultures present in our country and participating in traditions such as Chinese New Year is a great way of doing this.”
Chair of the Scotland China Education Network, Dr Judith McClure, said: “There are wonderful events to celebrate the Chinese New Year across Scotland.
“They mean so much in drawing together members of the Chinese community and those who love China.”
Spring Festival, as it is known in mainland China, sees the return of the rooster – one of the 12 animal zodiacs on the Chinese calendar.
Dr McClure said: “I am a Rooster, determined, loud and opinionated, so I am enjoying all of this enormously!”
Photo: Ruth Taylor