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Forres to host Chinese New Year celebration

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A Moray town will host its own Chinese New Year extravaganza next month after being awarded a significant grant to fund the celebration.

The Shen Foundation in Forres believes that bringing a taste of the Orient to the community could brighten the mood among residents at the end of January.

The charity has received £5,000 from the Big Lottery Fund to stage the event, and is now investigating ways to bring it to fruition.

The foundation’s Martin Forbes is helping to bring all the components together – and spent yesterday in meetings to discuss the plan.

Mr Forbes said: “We are still at an early stage, but we have some ideas we are pretty certain about.

“The £5,000 will be used purely for the Chinese New Year event, and it will need to be held somewhere that can fit a lot of people.

“Exactly what it will involve remains to be seen, but it will be a celebration of Chinese culture.

“There will be stalls, traditional Eastern food and various activities – and it will be free to enter.

“The end of January can be a drab time of year, so we want this to get people out and about and bring Forres a bit of colour.”

The foundation has previously marked Chinese New Year in the Moray town, with workshop activities in the Falconer Museum for local schoolchildren.

But Mr Forbes added they had never organised a one-off spectacular on the scale of the upcoming event.

Chinese New Year will fall on Saturday, January 28, next year and will commence the year of the Rooster.

Mr Forbes confirmed it was most likely the celebration would take place on that night, or the evening before.

The Shen Foundation’s primary purpose is to promote wellbeing in the community, and it stages a series of different conferences and retreats, while heightening “awareness of ancient wisdom and cultures”.

Last month, Moray Council forged a new bond between the region’s youngsters and China. A Confucius classroom has also been opened at Elgin Academy to teach children Mandarin and educate them in Chinese culture.

Two teachers have travelled from China to spend a year with pupils from 14 secondary and primary schools.

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