Christmas Style Mile Carnival

On Sunday 26 November Ricefield Arts was delighted to take part in the Glasgow Christmas Style Mile Carnival. Ricefield’s theme was Christmas bells, and our float and costumes were designed and made by hand by some of our very talented artists. Here volunteer Lee Yutung has written about her experience as a performer:

It was a busy Tuesday for the Ricefield Team, preparing our costumes for the coming carnival! We were using our imagination to decorate the clothes and to make our own unique piece. Every one was a designer and an artist! Thank you to all the talented people who joined us and inspired each other to make such wonderful costumes.

Glasgow’s winter is cold and the snow gave us a hint that Christmas is coming! Luckily, the sun showed its smiling face on Sunday 28 November.

Ricefield volunteers dressed as gold bells, with silver eye shadow decorating our eyes, gold powder decorating our cheeks, and small gold balls and a garland with berries decorating our hair. We were all excited and looked forward to joining the afternoon winter parade!

We moved to Argyle Street at 2:30 pm and waited for the parade to start. Other volunteers were also waiting there and were rehearsing. Every team had its own theme. Some dressed like medieval singers with a walking stick in their hands and some dressed as angels with snow white costumes. Some children played Oliver Twist, dressed with black dust on their faces and some kids dressed as little eagles with a mask covering their faces.

Many fancy parade floats were displayed on the street,  alongside the performers. Our theme was the Christmas golden bell. Therefore, our volunteers carefully prepared two big red bells with silver belts and some decorative gold patterns and used the artificial green leaves to tie the bells together. The golden bell is always an indispensable element of Christmas. The design we created mixed in Chinese elements. Red colour in China symbolises good fortune, especially when it is used in festivals.

The bell led our team through the parade as our float. We danced freely by following the music played by the drummers ahead of us. We were smiling and waved to the people standing on the side of the road and gave them high fives. We had a dancing mascot made by Yuen at the top of a flagstick which attracted the audience’s attention, particularly children, who waved and said hi to it.

We followed the crowds on the route, dancing to the music as happy gold bells celebrating Christmas time. People on the road sides also waved to us and smiled. Everyone enjoyed the carnival as there’s only happiness in the festive world.       

Visit Glasgow Loves Christmas for more information about winter celebrations in the city. Thanks to Bridgeman Arts for their support.

Glasgow Mela 2017

Last week Ricefield Arts and Culture Centre took part in Glasgow Mela Festival, one of our biggest events of the year, and once again it was a great success! Chinese arts and culture could be found throughout Kelvingrove Park; from the Kids Zone and our merchandise and historical clothing stall, to the Band Stand where the audience enjoyed a traditional Mongolian dance performance. Visitors walking through the festival could also witness a Lion Dance performed by Yee’s Hung Ga Edinburgh Kung Fu, and street theatre in collaboration with Surge performed by our brave volunteers. Even the rain couldn’t dampen our high spirits.


The Kids Zone was filled with different art and craft stations. Children showed off their creative skills in making lanterns, flowers, and fans out of card and paper. Many took part in our colouring competition and with so many great entries, our judges had a hard time choosing a winner! In the end, we were pleased to announce Zainab as the winner of a free art workshop. Our wish tree was also filled with imaginative aspirations.


Visitors to the festival enjoyed an intriguing street theatre performance of Overseasoned with our confused ‘chefs’ shuffling through the crowds and getting up to mischief. The performance brought more cheerfulness to the festival with many stopping to watch, laugh and take photos, though some poor spectators did have a couple of chips taken by the hungry chefs. The Lion Dance also offered a more traditional Chinese show, and children had the chance to try out playing the drums.

Over at the Band Stand, the audience were treated to an amazing traditional Mongolian dance presentation by dancers from the Glasgow Oriental Dancing Association. Some members of the audience may have been unfamiliar with this style of dance but the girls achieved a great applause. The beautiful dance and colourful outfits were a definite joy to watch.

Down at our merchandise stall, visitors had the chance to try out calligraphy and wear traditional Chinese clothing! Many were also interested in the Chinese opera masks, lanterns, kites and hanging charms. The coveted red envelope raffle prize went to Evelyn, who received a bag full of Chinese treats. Congratulations!

Thanks to all our volunteers and everyone who joined us at Glasgow Mela Festival 2017. It was a great success and we hope to see you at our upcoming events! 

 This blog was written by Ricefield Arts volunteer, Jenna Lau.

This video was produced by Ricefield Arts volunteer, Jiawei Song.

For more Glasgow Mela 2017 photos head over to our Facebook page.

 

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