As the Chinese New Year approaches, many cities in the United Kingdom will get themselves ready to celebrate one of the oldest festivals in the world by filling themselves with colour and tradition. To find out how the Chinese New Year is celebrated in Liverpool, read the following entry in our blog and discover some of the preparations and most important events taking place in the city of The Beatles.
The fact that most museums are free to residents shows how the United Kingdom is one of the countries with the greatest appreciation and respect for culture. Thus, some of the most well known and most well advertized activities taking place during the Chinese New Year, will be hosted by the city's museums. To celebrate the coming of the year of the Rooster, the year which corresponds with 2017, the Merseyside Maritime Museum is one such museum putting on a series of activities for families.
Children will be able to come to the museum and draw, paint or cut shapes and pictures associated with this celebration, such as dragons and other brightly coloured oriental images. This family activity aims to bring the old as well as the young closer to this faraway land, in addition to encouraging everybody to get to know the Chinese residents of Liverpool, if they do not already do so.
Liverpool and the tradition of the Chinese New Year
Liverpool is home to a substantial Chinese community. Thanks to this community, celebrating the Chinese New Year in Liverpool has been a tradition for years, and events now tend to have a set format.
Thus, the traditional red lanterns, (red chases away the bad omens and ensures that the new year gets off to a good start) which are placed in the streets of all the cities in China, can also be seen in Liverpool's Nelson street during the weeklong celebrations .
According to the Gregorian calendar, in 2017, the year of the Rooster will begin on 28th January. In anticipation of this, Liverpool has prepared a series of activities which will begin in the morning and will go on past 4 pm. The majority of these events will take place in the area around the popular Chinese market in Great George street. There, in a family friendly atmosphere, amongst the gift shops and traditional crafts, a celebration of drums, songs, music and Chinese dance, will give a cheerful and colourful welcome to the new year.
Later on, a series of typical Chinese martial arts performances will take place in the same area. Dances and other artistic performances will go on throughout the day. These performances will show a contemporary side of Chinese arts and how modern Chinese performance arts embrace a mixture of traditions. Whilst these performances are taking place, there will also be various workshops and courses related to oriental arts and crafts on offer along the street. This is a great opportunity for parents and children to learn about Chinese traditions via this hands-on creative medium.
However, as in other European cities and in China itself, there is no doubt that the most eagerly awaited for moment, is the famous Dragon and Lion dance parading along the streets of the city. The purpose of this tradition is to remove any negativity which you may have accumulated during the year, and to begin the new year filled with positivity.
Most years, along with the mayor, many public officials and representative of institutions, come along at one point or another during the celebrations. They come to show their respect for one of the oldest traditions in our world, and for one of the cultures which counts with the greatest number of followers, both in China and abroad.