By Abbie Dodson
Chinese New Year celebrations began on the 5th February, the 5th - 15th February is the Spring Festival and celebrations conclude with the Lantern Festival from 16th - 19th February and this year is the year of the pig! The festival is over 4,000 years old and is celebrated across the world. Celebrations take many different forms, mainly focusing on family and togetherness. On New Year’s Eve, families gather for a ‘reunion dinner’ which is believed to be the most important meal of the year in Chinese culture.
So, with the year of the pig approaching, we wanted to find out how Sheffield’s very own Chinatown is coming along. In 2015 it was announced that Sheffield would be getting its own Chinatown and promises of a £65 million development between London Road and Bramall Lane were made. So, how is the building work progressing, and when will Sheffield’s Chinatown, New Era Square, be open?
The entire project is set to be complete by summer 2019 and will include 300 studio apartments for students along with a KH Oriental supermarket and other retail units. According to Sheffield City Council’s Newsroom, the new Chinatown aims to better integrate the Chinese community into Sheffield with its modern recreation of classic Chinatowns.
With Sheffield being the sixth most populated city in England, this development is long overdue. With New Era Square’s completion fast approaching, Sheffield will be joining other cities to better celebrate Chinese culture, with London, Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool all boasting successful Chinatown districts.
I asked students their opinions on the new Chinatown development:
“I didn’t know that there was a Chinatown coming to Sheffield, but it’ll be interesting to have a look around and learn a little more about Chinese Culture.”
“I can’t wait for it!”
“I think it will do really well, especially being so near to student accommodation.”
Sheffield's Chinatown development
New Era Square as it will look on completion