Chinese New Year, Lit Fests, Theatre: Weekend Events In Kolkata

Hang out at the Apeejay lit fest, explore the city on the oldest operating electric tramway in Asia, experience the Chinese New Year in Chinatown, watch a cult play... take your pick from a wide variety of things to do in Kolkata this weekend
Explore Kolkata on a tram
Explore Kolkata on a tramshutterstock

Kolkata, the City of Joy, radiates an indomitable spirit that intertwines history, art, and literature. From theatre to lit fests Chinese New Year celebrations and heritage tram rides, there is a lot to do if you are in the city this weekend. Here's a curated list of things to do.

Meet Writers At A Literary Festival

The annual Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival is back from February 9 to 11. Hosted by the Oxford Bookstore bookstore, it is Kolkata’s first literary festival and reflects the city’s engagement with the literary world. The fest explores literature as part of our tangible and intangible heritage. Celebrate books, music, art, film, and more with the finest creative minds at events that unfold at the city’s magnificent heritage sites. Check their website here for the schedule. All events are free unless otherwise mentioned.

Join writer Jerry Pinto in conversation with Arshia Sattar at Allen Park
Join writer Jerry Pinto in conversation with Arshia Sattar at Allen ParkApeejay Kolkata Literary Festival/Facebook

Celebrate The Chinese New Year At The Only Chinatown In India

A dragon dance in Chinatown, Kolkata
A dragon dance in Chinatown, KolkataRudra Narayan Mitra/Shutterstock

Many people from China moved to Kolkata during the British Raj era. The Chinese community established residences and businesses such as dentistry, leather tanneries, shoemaking, restaurants, and beauty salons. Tiretta Bazaar, located in central Kolkata, was then known as the Old China Market, and today, this area is India's only Chinatown. Though most folks have left, the area has held on to a few Chinese temples, provision stores, and restaurants. On Chinese New Year, which falls on February 10, the community hosts several events like dragon dances and food festivals. Hit up Tiretta Bazaar and watch the joy unfold. You can find more details in our story about Chinatown here. This is the year of the dragon, under the Chinese lunar calendar. Also check out the Kolkata street food tram restaurant near the popular tourist destination Eco Park in New Town.

Book A Heritage Tram Tour

Kolkata has the oldest operating electric tram in Asia, running since 1902 and the only tram network still operating in India. Horse-drawn trams were introduced in Kolkata in 1873 and electric locomotive trams began running from 1882. The Kolkata Heritage Tram Tour is a unique way of discovering the city. The tour includes visits to several heritage buildings such as Tipu Sultan Masjid, the Thoburn Memorial Methodist Church established in 1873, Mother Teresa's home, and more. Check here for dates and details.

Watch A Cult Play

The play touches upon Brecht's ideas
The play touches upon Brecht's ideasKolkata Centre for Creativity/Facebook

Bertold Brecht's 126th birth anniversary falls on February 10. To celebrate, the Academy of Fine Arts is hosting the play "Bechara B.B." Kolkata Centre for Creativity, in collaboration with Chetana & Tritiyo Sutra, present this mesmerising production that delves into the essence of Brecht's life, ideas, and philosophy. The multidisciplinary art creation has traditional and contemporary forms converge on the stage. Book your seats here.

Where: Academy of Fine Arts

When: February 10, 6:30pm

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