Chinese parade heralds celebration season

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Hung Gar lion at the Chinese parade in Liverpool. Pic © Danielle Thomas JMU Journalism

Liverpool and China’s links are historic and strong, and a parade to signal the beginning of the Chinese New Year celebrations was held on Saturday.

With the official commemorations being held this weekend, and to mark the arrival of the Terracotta Warriors at Liverpool’s World Museum, a traditional Chinese New Year display made its way through the streets of the city centre, attracting the attention of shoppers.

The wet and chilly weather did not deter the crowds of people hoping to catch a glimpse of the famous lions from Hung Gar Kung Fu and the mini dragons from Pagoda Arts, as they swept through in a blaze of colour.

The parade kick-started at 1pm on Bold Street, continuing all the way down to finish at Liverpool One two hours later, to herald the imminent arrival of the Year of the Dog.

YouTube: Danielle Thomas

Zilan Liao, Pagoda Arts Artistic Director, told JMU Journalism: “The atmosphere here in Liverpool is so great. I really loved the way the Hung Gar lions, danced through the streets. It’s nice to be able to involve our children and allow them to join the experience.”

Addressing the long-lasting relationship between the city and China, Miss Liao said: “With Liverpool having the oldest Chinese community in Europe, it’s nice to have the council really take our culture seriously, and spending lots of money and time to help us celebrate this new year means a lot.”

Parade draws attention from shoppers in Liverpool One. Pic © Danielle Thomas JMU Journalism

Spectators were in high spirits as they enjoyed the lion dancing, which is intended to represent luck and prosperity, with both holding high importance for Chinese people. Alongside this was a series of performances from  Flower Drummers, Tai Chi and Guzheng all from Pagoda Arts.

Assistant Mayor, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “Saturday’s Lion dance in the city centre was a great taste of what to expect this weekend. Our Chinese New Year celebrations are always an incredible cacophony of sound and colour, and marking the Year of the Dog will be no exception.”

The main Chinese New Year celebrations will take place from Friday 16th to Sunday February 18th.