Year of the Rooster: Begin
Move over Monkey, the Year of the Rooster is now in town.
If you hadn’t already noticed, Liverpool and China are pretty tight, and we’re lucky enough to be home to Europe’s oldest Chinese community. So when Chinese New Year comes along, boy, do we get down. The Year of the Monkey is soon transitioning into the Year of the Rooster and Chinatown (centred around Nelson, Duke and Berry Street) is becoming a 3-day playground of colour, sound and smiles once again.
Whether you’re a seasoned Chinese New Year celebrator, or you’re a first timer to the Eastern party-of-all-parties - soak it all up, because it only comes once a year. Projections. Martial arts. Dancing dragons…It’s all here:
Friday 27th & Saturday 28th, 7:30 - 8:30pm & Sunday 29th, 5 - 6pm
Jingwei & the Ocean Projections
This is the big one – the daddy of Liverpool’s Chinese New Year, and we’re all invited. Culture Liverpool and digital experts Illuminos have promised to bring an ancient Chinese myth to life for an hour of each day of the celebrations, with beautiful projections cascading across the Chinese Arch, the Black-E round auditorium and the white-washed Arch, telling a tragic but beautiful story of ‘Jingwei and the Ocean’. The display will be similar in operation to the Bombed Out Church’s ‘Out of the Darkness’ Blitz tribute last May, so if you saw that, you know that we’re in for a magical experience. Pair that with a soundtrack specially commissioned by Jah Wobble and members of the Pagoda Youth Orchestra, you’ve got yourselves a real immersive Eastern experience, for absolutely free. Good, eh?
The projection will run for twelve minutes on an hour loop on all 3 nights, but check out the Culture Liverpool site for more details.
Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th, 11am - 4pm
No 3-day New Year is complete without a funfair, right? Great George Street and Grenville Street have got it covered, with tonnes of children’s rides, and of course some white-knuckle ones for the adrenaline-junkies out there.
Friday 27th & Sunday 29th, 3:20 - 4:30pm
Liverpool Confucius Institute and Everyman & Playhouse
What do you get when you mix the Everyman & Playhouse with the Liverpool Confucius Institute? Lions, music and Kung Fu, that’s what. Get ready for a whole rooster-full display of colour, tradition, magical atmosphere and special performances by local children, as well as professionals to get the New Year perfectly welcomed in. Completely free, but you’ve got to book in advance via the box office (get it done quick). For all the info, head here.
Sunday 29th January
Great George Square will be at the epicentre of Sunday’s festivities. Young or old, doesn’t matter, just get down!
Family Zone & Stage
11am - 4:30pm
Pagodas galore, here’s your chance to immerse yourself in the Chinese culture with the kids through a huge array of family arts workshops, street theatre, art installations and the Black-E Youth Circus Aerial Performance. Not to mention the chance to see Chinese Opera characters and even more beautiful performances, our Chinese community knows how to spoil us.
Chinese New Year Stage
11:00 – 11:30am
Pagoda Arts – Flower Drums & Fan Tai Chi
With the mission of introducing Chinese culture to a wide and diverse community, their unique yet equally encapsulating youth orchestra is at the cutting edge of contemporary and classical Chinese and Western music. They’re here for a good time, and they’re bringing their flower drums and fan tai chi for us lucky lot just to prove it, don’t miss it.
11:35 – 12:15pm & 2:35 – 3:15pm
Kwong Tam School of Tai Chi
Being the largest (and best) Tai Chi school in the North of England, the Kwong Tam Merseyside School are in high demand. They’ve got loads of variations to show you on the Sunday (some even contain swords) so you best get down there.
12:35 – 1:00pm
Pagoda Arts – Dance, Tai Chi, Happy Dance!
If you’re still to see this Eastern exercise phenomena, brace yourselves for something a little quirky, but dead fun. Supposedly a blood circulation buster, Pagoda Arts are back again to show you how to get your happy dance on, and loads more…
1.00 – 2:00pm
Firecracker Display – Lucky Man, Dragon and Unicorn
A traditional Chinese New Year custom symbolising the ‘sounding out’ of the old year and ‘sounding in’ the new, gear up for a firecracker display to end all others once the New Year clock strikes. We think that sounds…sound.
2:00 – 2:15pm
Hung Gar Kung Fu School – Martial Arts Demonstration
Since their formation in 1970, the Liverpool Hung Gar Kung Fu School have performed their martial arts and Lion Dance display (above), every year since. It’s the absolute essence of what you picture Chinese New Year celebrations to be, and we can’t wait to see them again this year.
Cameras at the ready, and tag us in all those Instagram photies will ya.
11:00am – 4:00pm
The Taste of China Sunday Street Market
One of our favourite parts of Chinese New Year? The Food. Sampling and then gorging on the traditional Chinese cuisines is a must here, and you’ll leave wishing you had asked the secret recipes of that delicious Kung-Pao that you just know you’ll never be able to remake yourself. There’s also beautiful keepsakes and gifts being sold, so you can grab a sense of Liverpool’s Chinese community, and take it home with you at the end of the day.
Heading into town after? The Chinese ambience doesn’t have to stop there.
There’s far too many amazing and authentic Chinese eateries around the city to ignore, so give Yuet Ben, Mei Mei or Chy a go if you haven’t already (where have you been?!). Fancy trying China with a twist? Head down to the vintage 1940s Chinese town house-esque Blind Tiger on Seel Street for delicious dim sum and drinks, or Chamber 36 on Berry Street for some funky Chinese feats and an ever-cool crowd sipping on ‘Bruce Lee-Chini’s (that’s a drink, and it’s delicious).
In case we end up missing something, @/# us in those amazing Instagram pics you all seem to be amazing at taking: itsliverpool. Keep us in the loop!
For more detail on China Town’s New Year programme, check it out here.