All fired up for Norwich Dragon Festival

Here be dragons – again! Two years after it was first staged, Norwich Dragon Festival is back today, bigger and better than before. Trevor Heaton looks at its appeal.

For centuries mankind has trembled whenever they are mentioned. Big and bad-tempered (and that's on a good day), they have usually resulted in Bad News – with a capital B and N – whenever they've flown across the pages of stories or through ancient legends.

So what exactly is Norwich doing celebrating dragons? The answer, of course, is that they give a chance to explore much of the heritage and culture of a Fine City, but from at a slightly unusual angle.

Literally, in Vini Pereira's case. The photographer has been travelling round Norfolk looking for dragons to capture... through the lens, that is. They form the theme for an exhibition being staged at the city's Assembly House for the festival.

It's one of 60 events being staged as part of this year's event, across 30 venues. Almost 50 of those events are free, with the festival running from Saturday, February 12 until Sunday, February 27 with activities and events all linked to the ancient symbol.

What's particularly ingenious about this year's event is the way it has sparked the imagination. As well as enjoying hands-on activities, you can learn more about the city's history and its myths and legends in a range of talks and exhibitions, see a programme of puppet shows, story-telling, films and dance performances, develop arts and craft skills in a series of workshops, and visit a range of artwork and displays created by community groups and local artists.

For a full, up-to-date events programme visit www.heritagecity.org/dragonfestival where you can create your own festival itinerary or telephone 01603 305575 to request a copy of the brochure.

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Find out more about Norwich's links with dragons and festival events in the EDP Sunday supplement in this Saturday's EDP.

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