Liverpool celebrates Chinese New Year

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Chinese New Year in Liverpool. Pic by Laura Ryder

Chinese New Year. Pic by Laura Ryder

Thousands of people packed Chinatown under a beautiful blue sky today as Liverpool again played host to pulsating Chinese New Year celebrations that welcomed the Year of the Horse.

Firecrackers thundered, tai chi dancers astounded and a dragon came to life as locals, tourists, students and families with young children joined the Chinese community for the revelries and watched on in awe.

As the dragon pirouetted as part of its annual, mesmerising dance, nurse Joseph Kelleher looked in wonder at the extravaganzas on display for the first time.

He told JMU Journalism: “I wasn’t actually planning on watching it or anything. Really, I just stumbled on to it all as I was walking into town. That being said, it’s pretty amazing. You always hear about the multiculturalism of the city, don’t you? This proves it, I suppose.”

People convened by the Nelson Street arch that welcomes visitors to Chinatown to enjoy a mixture of sight, smell and sound, and were fortunate that the weather remained calm on a cold but placid day.

Weaving their way under the arch and through Chinatown, they were given the opportunity to taste unfamiliar Chinese cuisine at stalls dotted around the surrounding streets.

Chinese New Year. Pic by Laura Ryder

Chinese New Year in Liverpool. Pic by Laura Ryder

A funfair was set up in Great George’s Square, where the sound of children enjoying the rides was accompanied by the gentle lilt of Chinese music. In the square itself, onlookers observed the Pagoda Tai-Chi group put on a display of elegant dancing.

It is believe that those born on the Year of the Horse, such as Beatles member Sir Paul McCartney, may see their finances fluctuate in 2014.

Liverpool has the largest proportion of Chinese residents relative to its population in the UK, beginning when the first settlers travelled to the city by sea in the 1850s. It also boasts the oldest Chinese community in Europe.

Additional reporting by Laura Ryder

About Paul McIntyre, JMU Journalism