Join in the Chinese New Year Celebrations during your visit to 30 James Street as Liverpool comes alive with colour and culture this February.
The Year of the Pig has proven to be a great inspiration for a huge selection of fun performances, art installations and Chinese New Year Activities that the whole family can get involved in.
So, here’s our guide to some of the best Chinese New Year activities taking place in Liverpool city centre on this, the year of the Pig.
First a Little History Lesson
Since 1834, China has been a part of Liverpool, and Liverpool a part of China. Despite being separated by more than 5000 miles the two have many similarities, which is why Liverpool is known as a wonderful city in which to celebrate Chinese New Year.
Liverpool’s Chinese community is the oldest in Europe, built when seamen chose to settle here when working on the Alfred Holt & Co. shipping line, the first company to trade directly with China. The seaman first settled on the docks in makeshift homes, then moved into the area now known as China Town, where they began to open their own businesses.
This year we celebrate the 20th year since Liverpool was twinned with Shanghai, a city with so many differences and yet unmistakable similarities, including their almost identical waterfronts.
Ancient trading partners since the late 19th century, Shanghai and Liverpool formed a bond that remains strong to this day and is celebrated in more inventive and creative ways as we look forward to each Chinese New Year.
Must See Art Installations
The colourful and creative culture of China has long been celebrated across the world. During Chinese New Year, the city of Liverpool becomes a blank canvas which organisations such as Pagoda Arts use to showcase China’s artwork and traditions.
Kicking off Chinese New Year celebrations, Pagoda Arts and Barbara Disney will unveil an impressive art installation in the Museum of Liverpool.
The piece has been hand made from over 120,000 folded lucky money envelopes which are traditionally given out East and South Asian societies on Chinese New Year. The envelopes were gathered throughout last year from all over the world and around 10,000 volunteers shaped them to form lanterns, butterflies, fish and other origami figures.
The Lucky Pigsy installation will be available to see throughout February and free to access.
Chinese New Year Activities and Craft Workshops
Get the family together at the Merseyside Maritime Museum and help them decorate the city with traditional paper lanterns and decorative dragons made by their own hands.
On 3rd February a workshop for all ages will be taking place inviting little ones to put their creative skills to good. Engage your family in the beauty of Chinese culture by encouraging them to learn all about the art and beauty associated with traditional Chinese New Year celebrations.
The workshop will take place at 13:00 – 16:00 pm and is free to all.
Or you take the family along to learn about the ancient links between China and Liverpool at the Museum of Liverpool, here they’ll be hosting a craft workshop detailing all that unites the great country with our fair city.
Get hands-on and recreate the intricate designs of the chinoiserie landscapes seen on the beautiful blue and white plates and kitchenware.
This free, fun and educational craft activity will take place on the 10th of February 13:30 pm – 16:00 pm.
Breath-taking Live Performances
To be at the very heart of the Chinese New Year celebrations in Liverpool, get yourself to China Town where a three-day festival will take place from the 8th – 10th of February, depicting the journey of China and Liverpool through the years.
The Quest for the Arch
Celebrating Chinese New Year, the 20-year anniversary of Shanghai and Liverpool’s Twinning and the gift of the China Town Arch, this year’s projection displays are expected to be breath-taking.
The main event will depict the combination of a 16th-century Chinese story, Pigsy and Jingwei’s ‘Journey to the West’ and the Chinese New Year tale ’The Great Race’. The story will be projected onto the arch and include all the animals of the Zodiac and the main characters in their race to build the great arch.
Preceding the projection, a series of live street performances will take place, provided by local organisations.
Friday 8th February sees a live performance that will showcase the timeline from early to modern day China through the medium of music and dance.
Saturday 9th February starts with traditional Lion and Dragon Parades, a sign of good luck for the year ahead, and the welcoming of spring.
Sunday 10th February welcomes more live entertainment, including Lion and Dragon Dances and a specially commissioned performance from Movema, a youth group dance inspired by Thai Chi and traditional silk fans.
Expect to see everything from traditional costumes to imaginative technology and eccentric fashion. Better still it’s all free.
All the live entertainment will take place on Nelson Street and under the Chinese Arch beginning at 19:00 on Friday and Saturday and 18:00 pm on Sunday.
Getting Involved in the Past
As technology moves forward, the past becomes more accessible and one of the most amazing Chinese New Year activities to get involved in this year is the augmented reality trail around China Town.
Start by scanning signs dotted all over the area, as you delve into the heritage of ten gifted people of Chinese descent. Follow their journey and understand how their ancestors inspired their lives and helped shape their future.
First, you need to download the LayAR app, then follow the trail in and around China Town to learn all about Chinese Heritage in Liverpool and how those roots inspired people to move forward in their lives.
At the end of the trail, you’ll be asked the question ‘what are your roots?’ adding your own story to the bank.
The trail begins at St Luke Bombed Out Church and goes on to cover other landmark destinations around this part of the city.
Book Your Stay for Chinese New Year in Liverpool
There’s no better time to visit Liverpool than during a cultural festival and Chinese New Year is always one of the most spectacular citywide events to behold.
Our luxurious family rooms can sleep from 2 – 8 guests in utter comfort and provide the perfect base to explore all the festivities of Chinese New Year taking place across the city.
We have a fantastic rooftop restaurant Carpathia which serves exquisite meals and boasts magnificent views over the city’s majestic waterfront, as well as a whole host of in room facilities perfect for family stays.
Come along and get involved in the magic, celebrating the year of the Pig in Liverpool this Chinese New Year, call 0151 236 0166 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book or find out more.