Liverpool has a great history with the Chinese. Our China town is the oldest community in Europe and it dates back to 1834. The early groups of Chinese immigrants arrived in Liverpool to trade silk and cotton wool. Built in 2000, the beautifully crafted traditional arch was imported piece by piece from China. This wooden and marble structure is the tallest of its kind outside China.
On Friday 8th February, a lot of students joined me at the Chinese Arch for the beginning of Liverpool’s Chinese New Year celebrations. The cold winter night did not stop everyone from enjoying the celebrations which began at 7pm with a fantastic dragon and lion dance from the Hung Gar Kung Fu Friendship Association, to symbolise good luck and fortune. We also enjoyed walking around and spotting the performers on stilts wearing traditional Chinese costumes.
The main event was a 12-minute light show projection, including fireworks, on to the Chinese Arch and The Arch building. The projection was called The Quest for the Arch and was a fascinating story about the journey of a young girl called Jingwei and her pig friend from Shanghai to Liverpool. The projection taught us about the similarities
Shanghai and Liverpool became ‘twin cities’ twenty years ago. They both share a lot of similarities including the historic waterfronts, stunning architecture and love for music. After having such a great time at the show, a number of students decided to head further in to China Town and enjoy some Chinese food, while the rest of us warmed up with a nice drink in a local bar!
Celebrations continued to Sunday 10th February and we joined a passionate crowd on the lovely sunny day. The dragon was the very first part of the event that we saw and after finding our way to the Chinese Arch, we walked towards Great George Square to watch the dancers and listen to the very pleasant ambient music. Other acts included a Happy Dance as well as the return of the dragon.