Alison Lowery

Year of the Pig: Chinese New Year in Liverpool

The arch, welcoming visitors and the Chinese community alike into Liverpool’s famous Chinatown is iconic, not just because it is a symbolic, beautiful and intricate work of art, but because it is the largest in Europe and the tallest standing in any Chinatown outside of mainland China. It was the perfect way to enter into the many interesting, colourful and loud celebrations held there for Chinese New Year which was officially on the 5th of February 2019 – whilst it’s too late to experience any celebrations this year hopefully it will inspire you to venture there next year or attend other celebrations during the year!

       

Chinese New Year is the annual Chinese festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. This year it is the Year of the Pig – a symbol of wealth!

The celebrations happened over a three-day period with most of the celebrations happening over the weekend of the 9-10th of Feb. I went down to Liverpool city centre on Sunday the 10th to experience and celebrate the Year of the Pig. The area was filled with a diverse range of visitors of all ages and nationalities.

There were lots of small events happening across Chinatown for the celebration. First we watched the parade of the Dragon and Lions making their way from the Black-e, through Great George Square and back on their separate routes. The characterisation of the Dragons and Lions was captivating and embraced the full essence of Chinese Dragon and Lion dancing. 

There was also a great drumming  performance and demonstration by 24 Festival Drums (Liverpool Guild of Students) showing impressive skill and presence on stage in Great George Square.

2019 is a special Chinese New Year for Liverpool, it also celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Twinning of Liverpool and Shanghai. This included the gifting of the Chinese Arch in Liverpool.The arch features 200 hand carved dragons, twelve of which are pregnant. This is said to symbolise good fortune between Liverpool and Shanghai.

The whole atmosphere was energetic and vibrant, with a mingling of different cultures and full embracing of a much celebrated and anticipated celebration of Chinese New Year that happens across the world. If you get the opportunity to attend Chinese New Year celebrations in the future or other Chinese celebrations go for it – they are loads of fun and a great way to get to know another culture’s traditions.

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