City celebrates Chinese New Year

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Chinese New Year in Liverpool 2016 Pics by Lucy Nixon © JMU Journalism

Chinese New Year in Liverpool 2016 Pics by Lucy Nixon © JMU Journalism

The sun shone brightly in Liverpool today as people lined the streets of Chinatown for the start of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

The festivities brought several hundred people to Berry Street and Nelson Street to observe the brightly-coloured parade of the Chinese Dragon, Lion and Unicorn, accompanied by traditional drums.

People of all ages gathered in the blustery wind to welcome in the Year of the Monkey. Loud firecrackers were set off at several points throughout the parade often giving the younger children a fright. Restaurant owners along the route revelled at the queues of customers waiting to purchase a taste of Chinese cuisine.

Emma Wu, 24, who is studying for a Masters at The University of Liverpool, told JMU Journalism: “I came to this event last year and it was nowhere near as busy as it is now. I enjoy coming down even though it feels quite different to China.

“Round here there are lots of Chinese restaurants so it feels a little bit like home, but the celebrations are a little different. If I was at home I would spend my time with my family, but here I am spending it with my friends and we will enjoy the parade then go home and cook some traditional Chinese food.”

Susie Overill, 70, from Waterloo, spoke of how the festivities have changed over the years. She told JMU Journalism: “This is much bigger than it used to be, the celebrations were much more intimate in years gone by. It was really just Nelson Street where the parade was, and the dragon would be much bigger and weave in and out of the restaurants and shops.

Chinese New Year in Liverpool 2016 Pics by Lucy Nixon © JMU Journalism

Chinese New Year in Liverpool 2016 Pics by Lucy Nixon © JMU Journalism

“But of course recent years have been great, much more showmanship which is good for Liverpool. I used to live out in Hong Kong and Chinese New Year is just momentous there, but this is great. It’s brilliant for this city.”

According to traditional Chinese Zodiac, those born in the Year of the Monkey are smart, lively and quick-witted.

Celebrations will continue as the New Year is welcomed all week and a thousand Chinese lanterns will light Liverpool’s Chinatown with an oriental glow for the duration.