2024 Chinese New Year Gala

Auspicious Year of the Dragon
(Celebrating the New Year with the Auspicious Dragon,
Joy and Splendor Fill the Year of the Dragon)

Greetings for the Year of the Dragon

May every family prosper as the dragon dances to welcome the New Year! With the 2024 Chinese New Year approaching, we joyously gathered at the Brighton Hove CEDP Chinese Centre to successfully host the ‘Dragon Year Spring Festival Celebration!’ The dragon, a beloved traditional national totem, symbolizes a spirit of bold advancement. The Year of the Dragon also represents transformation and hope. We welcomed its arrival with residents and special guests and experienced the splendors of Chinese culture. It was a moment full of significance.”

As the New Year Approaches, Best Wishes:

On the afternoon of February 3, 2024, the CEDP Chinese Centre hosted the grand ‘Year of the Dragon Spring Festival Celebration.’ The center was meticulously decorated to warmly welcome all guests, with fragrant fruits adorning the tables. Officials from Brighton Hove City Council, various Chinese and overseas Chinese groups, ethnic associations, and enthusiasts of Chinese culture gathered in a festive atmosphere filled with laughter and joy. The event was packed to the brim, radiating festivity. Over 20 performing groups from different regions prepared cultural performances carefully. Staff members and volunteers organized the event meticulously, immersing the audience in happiness. All these efforts were to celebrate this special day! For 25 years, the CEDP Chinese Centre has been dedicated to preserving and promoting Chinese culture. We hoped to create a family-like community bound by affection and warmth on this special festival.
The celebration performances began at 1 pm amidst enthusiastic applause. We were honored to have Councilor Jackie O’Quinn, the Mayor of Brighton Hove, whose passionate speech fully recognized and expressed hopeful expectations for the event. Dr. Hong Lu, OBE, the chairperson of the Chinese Centre, extended her gratitude to everyone who participated and acknowledged the positive impact of those who have supported the CEDP Chinese Centre’s Chinese cultural activities. She also shared her thoughts and sincere wishes for the special occasion of the Year of the Dragon!”

The Rhythm of Art, Connecting East and West:

The Year of the Dragon celebration commenced with the first performance – ‘Dragon and Lion Dance,’ introduced by the host. Dr.Tom Harper, Harrison Du Hampton, Zhang Siyuan, Zhang Siquan, Simon Qiu, and Dongming Qin brought us an exceptionally splendid lion and dragon dance performance. The lion dance was agile and fluid, a traditional performance that injected full vitality into the event. The rhythmic movements of the dragon dance promised to bring more joy and harmony to the Year of the Dragon.


The UK Guangxi Association United Federation’s Caixia Dance Troupe presented us with a beautiful large group dance titled ‘The Motherland is Always My Home.’ Dressed in vibrant costumes, they twirled and danced to the music. Their dance was not only a display of their artistic talent but also an expression of their deep love and respect for their homeland. This performance, characterized by its traditional features, was greatly appreciated by the audience.


We were fortunate to have teacher Wang Jianing as a performer at this celebration. Together with her students Lian Hengyi and Fan Mengqi, they delivered a moving recitation of the poem ‘Reading China.’ This piece has been very popular in China in recent years. They spread positive energy through their recitative style, allowing the audience to appreciate the profound meaning and unique interpretation of China that the poem conveys.


Children are the hope of the new era, and there are two incredibly adorable brothers born in the UK. Zhang Siyuan and Zhang Siquan brought us a song that is very popular among children in China – ‘Where is Spring?’ They are exemplary students of the Chinese school at the CEDP Chinese Centre. Their pure and innocent voices embody the legacy of Sino-Western cultural exchange in the hearts of the new generation.



The Year 7 students of Bohunt School Worthing, who have been learning Mandarin for over four months, truly enjoy Chinese language and culture. They presented a choral performance of ‘Jasmine Flower.’ Their enthusiasm for exploring different cultures resonated deeply at the 2024 Chinese New Year celebration. A heartfelt thanks to these young language enthusiasts for embracing Chinese traditions!



The lively dance was spectacularly performed once again! Following the impressive display by the Chinese breakdance team at last year’s Asian Games, a renewed fervor for street dance has swept across China! Young dancers from Beijing Jiayang Starlight Art Education Institute, Lian Hengyi (8 years old) and Fan Mengqi (11 years old), brought us a street dance extravaganza filled with Chinese elements titled ‘Burning Brightly.’ Their energetic performance set the stage ablaze with excitement!


We were extremely honored to have Mr. An Baoyan presented a splendid Guqin performance at the event. He is a remarkably talented and versatile artist, skilled in calligraphy, traditional Chinese music, Peking opera, and more, with a professional background in industrial design. He has worked as the chief graphic designer at THE KEY, a design company founded by the famous French designer Philippe Starck. He is also an accomplished Guqin player and has edited several collections on the Chinese Guqin. Engaged in the artistic exploration of ‘Guqin and Cursive Script,’ his performance was melodious and emotionally rich.


Performers Yu Lan, Susan, Li Ping, Lily, and Amy from the UK Guangxi Association United Federation’s Caixia Dance Troupe showcased the unique charm of Chinese Miao culture. In their performance of ‘Blocking the Door Wine,’ their graceful dance moves and flowing skirts resembled blooming flowers. The choreography of the Miao dance, expressing a yearning for truth, goodness, and beauty, as well as inner passion, was greatly admired by everyone present.


The Year 7 students of Bohunt School Worthing performed the song ‘Happy New Year.’ Dressed in a variety of traditional Chinese costumes, they brought to life the touching exchange between Chinese and Western cultures. In the pure voices of these children, we all welcomed the arrival of the Chinese New Year in the Year of the Dragon.


Next came the interactive session – ‘Subject Three’! Under the guidance of Teacher Zhang Xiaoyan, Zhang Siyuan, and Zhang Siquan, everyone present joined in the dance. This dance track has become a global sensation, suitable for all ages! Everyone participated enthusiastically, joyfully swaying, and kicking off the celebration!


During the intermission, the CEDP Chinese Centre provided a wonderful raffle session. The incredible duo, Sonia and Martin, brought us this exciting moment. As an important interactive part of the entire event, it really livened up the atmosphere!


Wang Rui and Gong Xiaoyan from the University of Sussex passionately performed the song which is ‘Lanting Xu.’ ‘Lanting Xu’ is not only a mirror of the historical and cultural aspects of the Wei and Jin dynasties but also reflects the spiritual characteristics and aesthetic pursuits of the entire traditional Chinese culture. The connotations conveyed through their singing were endlessly captivating.


Chinese Kung Fu, the Essence of Chinese Spirit! This performance was presented by Joy Carol, Dr. Tom Harper, Harrison Du Hampton, and Qin Dongming. The performers’ powerful movements showcased the robust beauty and elegant essence of Kung Fu. Chinese Kung Fu is not just a sport, but a culture, embodying the spirit, energy, and essence of the Chinese people. This martial art has garnered attention from many enthusiasts in both the East and West.


Next was a segment of elegant and delicate dance performance! This dance took us through a journey in time, immersing us in the romantic beauty of the South Water Lake. A heartfelt thanks to Susan, Amy, Yu Lan, Lily, and Li Ping for bringing us ‘The Large Fan Dance: Love by the South Water Lake.’ With their fair faces and white robes, and their colorful fans fluttering elegantly, they were like ethereal beings!


Alexander Elvidge is a talented individual with a passion for singing classical songs and a deep interest in folk and old-style music. He has been a trainer and part of the CEDP Chinese Centre’s choir for some time. Currently working in the financial services industry, she has also embarked on a journey of learning Chinese. On the day, Alexander presented us with a beautiful rendition of the classic Chinese song ‘When will the Bright Moon Come?’.


Another highlight was a spectacular individual showcase – ‘Flow Yoga Demonstration.’ Teacher Yang Lin is a seasoned yoga enthusiast who has been practicing yoga for 14 years. For her, Yoga is not just a form of exercise, but a lifestyle, a way of cultivating the spirit with inner peace and balance. We also wish everyone a harmonious mind and good health in the Year of the Dragon! There is a chance to follow Ms. Lin Yang and Ms XiaoYan Zhang – CEDP professional trainers.


Representing the CEDP Chinese Centre choir, Michael Li performed ‘I Want You.’ His voice, a messenger of joy, resonated beautifully on the colorful stage, under the warm glow of the lights. Singing the melody from his heart, his performance was very well received by the audience! Everyone is also encouraged to join the Free charity singing group on Monday evening between 7-7:30pm online.


Kenny Xu, a student from the Engineering Department at the University of Sussex, brought us an exhilarating drum set performance of ‘Life is a Highway.’ The rhythm of the drumsticks compelled everyone to sway with the beat. As the performance neared its end, his cool and stylish approach reignited the excitement in the venue.


The Caixia Dance Troupe from the UK Guangxi Association United Federation presented the final traditional Chinese dance of the event – ‘Dai Ethnic Dance.’ The dancers’ performance was graceful and elegant, accompanied by a slow and clear rhythm of music. This dance, rich in ethnic charm, left a profound impression on us.


Finally, we had the privilege of having Marta Scott, a dancer from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, grace our event. Her dance career has taken her across Europe, Israel, and the United States, including performances on Broadway. Marta has been teaching Latin, Jazz, and Samba dances in the UK for 24 years. As the lead choreographer of the Brighton Samba School, she presented us with a passionate dance performance. In the end, everyone joined in, filling the venue with laughter and cheer!

Traditional Activities, Immersive Experience:

In this vibrant Chinese New Year celebration, it wasn’t just about spectacular performances, but also deeply cultural immersive experiences. This included activities like paper-cutting led by SiJing Ni from Cambridge, calligraphy for Spring Festival couplets led by Dr. Jing Hua and Frank Xu from UCL, traditional Chinese medicine led by Dr. Lixin Li, and making Zongzi led by Ms Qun Li and Bing Yan. These workshops were designed to offer a more immersive experience of this grand traditional festival and to provide a platform for cross-cultural interaction and exchange. Audiences from both Chinese and Western backgrounds actively participated, making the CEDP Chinese Centre incredibly lively.
Thank you to the experienced Cici for leading and nurturing our new hosts. Her valuable guidance and support have contributed to the growth of our two new hosts, Yang Yongqi from the University of Sussex and Max Slaughter from BASVIC High School. Their performances on stage have played a crucial role in adding more vitality and excitement to the event.

Thank you to Dr. Li Lixin and his wife for their support in the workshop and free clinic on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) health preservation. Brighton Mayor councilor Jackie O’Qunne and her assistant also personally participated in the experience. On the day, there were about twenty to thirty people participating in the interactive activities and experiences. Everyone exclaimed how amazing TCM is and how quickly it can take effect. We hope the center can continue to invite Dr. Li and his wife to Brighton again so that more colleagues, friends, and family can experience and learn how to become their own doctors!

The evening also featured a variety of delicious dishes, including traditional Chinese foods like dumplings, baozi, and noodles. We would especially like to thank Mr. Jing and his family (Mr. Jing Yanling, Mrs. Ni Zhijun, and their daughters Jing Huanyu and Jing Huanhui), who run a restaurant in London. They prepared hundreds of handmade baozi and braised noodles for our event and led a dumpling-making session for free. We are grateful for their selfless dedication and support. In this joyous festival, we all savored the taste of China and experienced its unique culinary culture. Appreication also goes to the CEDP trustees: Ms. QIAN zhen, Dr. REN Lin, Alex Wu and Mr. Zhang Guo cheng and Mrs. Carol Theobald for their contribution, donation and support. With the support from the CEDP management team, nothing can happen. Big thanks to Xie Xuemeng, Nicole Hong, ZHANG xiaoyan, Dr. LI Hao, Ms. Peiying Sun, LUO Peihua, LUO Manfeng, AQin, LiLi, Jack Hong , Sammy Lee, Micheal Zhang, Xiaoyi Wu and a big group of volunteers. We appreciate the donation from Lidl to allow everyone enjoying the soft drink, fruits and snacks on the festival day. Without the donation from Study Group (an education group supporting international students’ foundation programmes crossing UK and Sussex Interpreting Service (SIS) Mr. Liu Kaixiang (Owner of Panda Mami Restaurant), We are not able to pay for the venue for the festival day.
Let us all come together to celebrate the Year of the Dragon in unity and joy!”


Wonderful Moments:

Acknowledgements to Organizations and Individuals:

The CEDP Chinese Centre wholeheartedly thanks everyone for their enthusiastic participation! In this loving family, your presence allowed us all to share in the unique joy of the Spring Festival. Regardless of national borders, we shared this special celebration. We also received blessings from friends around the world who have studied and worked at the CEDP Chinese Centre. We are grateful for your sincere and warm wishes; you are an indispensable part of our community family. Thanks to all staff and volunteers, as well as all the performers, for your magnificent contributions that created a splendid feast.
We would also like to extend our heartfelt thanks to our partners: Study Group, Sussex Interpreting Services, Brighton & Hove City Council, Fantuan Deliver, Pearls Bubble Tea, Lidl, Full House Xiang Yuan, Yun Feng Supermarket, Liao Wanxiang, and Liu Kaixiang (Panda Mami Restaurant), among others (in no order). Thank you for your outstanding support, which made this event even more meaningful!
Finally, we wish everyone a very auspicious Year of the Dragon and a happy Spring Festival!

Introduction of CEDP Chinese Centre:

The CEDP Chinese Centre was established in 1997 and officially registered as an educational charity in 2007. It currently has 9 directors, a management committee of 10 people, an advisory committee of 13 members, and over 100 volunteers.
• Provides an information and service platform for more than 3000 families and individuals.
• Organizes annual events for Chinese New Year, Dragon Boat Festival, and Mid-Autumn Festival.
• Offers a platform for Sino-British cultural exchange, language and business activities, and educational interaction, including but not limited to Chinese language learning, Chinese cultural activities, China Day activities, and Sino-British business forums.
• Hosts weekly Chinese wellness activities, such as Tai Chi, Ba Duan Jin, choir, Confucian Analects and Tang poetry, classical Chinese dance, yoga, traditional Chinese medicine wellness lectures, psychological counseling, etc.
• Provides consulting services for various cooperative courses, including but not limited to education, guidance, work, internships, and employment mentorship.
Additionally, the CEDP Chinese Centre has organized over a thousand online charity and public welfare activities. We look forward to and need your support and help in the future. We eagerly await your participation.