This year we welcome the Year of the Rabbit for Chinese New Year (Sunday 22 January) in Liverpool and there’s a wide range of events happening across the city to mark the celebrations across the week.
Chinese & British Exhibition at Liverpool Central Library (16 January – 31 March)
This free new exhibition at Liverpool Central Library draws on personal stories and moments of national significance to ask what it means to be Chinese and British. From the first recorded individuals arriving from China in the late 1600s to Liverpool becoming Europe’s first Chinatown in the 1850s, Chinese people, who trace their heritage to regions across east and southeast Asia, have played an active part in British society for over 300 years. The Chinese Britain panel exhibition explores the culture, history and heritage of Chinese communities that settled in Limehouse in London and in Liverpool.
Chinese New Year Celebrations At Great George Square (22 January)
You can enjoy a whole day of celebrations on Sunday 22 January at Chinatown and the Chinese Ceremonial Archway. The streets will be decorated with Chinese lanterns, the dragon and unicorn displaying their strength and sharing good luck through traditional dance and of course the noisy firecrackers to ward off bad luck and delight the crowds.
This year, Culture Liverpool are thrilled to be able to celebrate the traditional Chinese New Year Celebrations in person once again. Don’t worry if you can’t make it, there is plenty to enjoy online from the comfort of your own home with a selection of activities and archive footage available before and after the main event.
The symbolic Chinese lanterns will decorate the heart of Chinatown, buildings will be lit up red in honour of this age-old tradition, the dragon and unicorn will parade the streets and the stage returns to Great George Square to host a programme of live performances throughout the day. There will also be plenty of Chinese food to sample from the many food stalls, art workshops with make and do activities as well as storytelling and the popular funfair.
12pm – 12:45pm: Pagoda Arts – Flower Drums, Fan Tai Chi, Dance and Happy Dance!
12:50pm – 12:55pm: Friendship Dancers Moon Night Waltz
1:pm – 1:40pm: Firecracker Display – Lucky Man, Dragon and Unicorn Parades
1:40pm – 1:55pm: Liverpool Hung Gar Kung Fu Friendship Association – Martial Arts Demonstration
1:55pm – 2:15pm: Wah Sing Chinese Community Centre Dancers – Traditional Chinese Dance & Song, Bless You – Chinese Dance Performance, Draw You – Chinese Dance Performance, Beautiful Taihu – Chinese Dance Performance & Happy Every Year song – Singing Performance.
2:20pm – 2:45pm: Tian & LIMF Academy (in association with Pagoda Arts)
2:50pm – 2:55pm: Wirral Chinese Cultural Association: Classical Dance – Dream in Flowers
2:55pm – 3:pm: North East Wales Chinese Women’s Association – Traditional Chinese Dance
3:pm – 3:10pm: Movema Dance – Silk
3:15pm – 3:20pm: UK Phoenix Qipao Chinese Cultural & Art Association – The Big Fan Dance ‘WanJiang’ and The Silk Scarf QiPao show ‘The Picture Scroll of Love’
3:25pm – 3:30pm: Friendship Dancers – Beautiful River (Chinese Line Dance)
3:45pm – 4:10pm: Tian & LIMF Academy (in association with Pagoda Arts)
4:15pm – 4:25pm: Movema Dance – Silk
4:30pm – 4:55pm: Bring the Fire Project – Fire Finale
5pm: STAGE CLOSE
** All times are subject to change. Please check the Culture Liverpool website and social media for any changes.
‘The Lunar Rabbit’ at The Bombed Out Church (20 – 22 January)
Following the success of last year’s ‘Water Tiger’, Focal Studios are partnering up with artists Eleonora Asparuhova and Laura Sullivan to create a magnificent focus for CNY celebrations at the Bombed Out Church. The Lunar Rabbit spectacle invites communities around Liverpool to come together and celebrate the Chinese New Year, through a modern and stunning projection show and light installation at St Luke’s Bombed Out Church from Friday 20 until Sunday 22 January 2023 between 5pm – 9pm.
Lunar New Year Celebrations at FACT (21 January – 5 February)
In celebration of the Lunar New Year, FACT are teaming up with the Liverpool East and South East Asian Network (LESEAN) to bring you a special programme of celebratory events and workshops. Alongside this, FACT’s artist-in-residence, April Lin 林森, leads an in-conversation and interactive workshop surrounding their new artwork, The Earthly Realm is Out of Balance.
Visit on select dates across the celebration period to experience insightful talks, lantern making sessions, plus much more! Discover all the listings below.
21 January | 3:00pm – 5:00pm | Free, booking required
LESEAN hosts a special tasting menu, as well as a discussion around Lunar New Year and how ESEA communities exist both on and offline.
21 January | 5:00pm – 6:00pm | Free, booking required
In a project inspired by Singapore’s GIFFEST, LESEAN invited ESEA artists to produce GIFs inspired by Lunar New Year. Discover the celebratory creations at FACT and hear more about the project from local artist b3.png. This event will also include a performance by artist Pei Tong.
In Conversation with April Lin 林森
26 January | 6:30pm – 7:30pm | Free, booking required
Resident artist April Lin 林森, hosts a conversation with their artistic collaborators, Yank Scally and Amina Atiq. Discover how they developed The Earthly Realm is Out of Balance – an interactive game that investigates the meaning of ancestry.
Artist Workshop with April Lin 林森
27 January | 3:00pm – 4:00pm | Free, booking required
April Lin 林森 takes us on a gameplay walkthrough of The Interface, a chatbot which has taken up residence in FACT’s first-floor gallery. Using these interactions as a starting point, this group session will delve into conversations about ancestry and belonging.
Lantern Making Workshop
5 February | 12:00pm – 3:00pm | Free, booking required
LESEAN invites you to learn the art of lantern making alongside your friends and family. Craft lanterns together, while reflecting on resolutions and hopes for the year ahead. This workshop is suitable for all ages and abilities.
5 February | 3:30pm – 6:00pm | Free, booking required
Join LESEAN for an intimate group workshop centred around a unique tea ceremony. Learn about the importance of Lunar New Year traditions from members of the network.
Register for all events at fact.co.uk/lunar
Chinese New Year Gala Performance (27 January)
Join the University of Liverpool Confucius Institute at the Tung Auditorium for this special Chinese New Year Gala Performance. Welcome the Year of the Rabbit with a professional troupe and local students performing traditional Chinese skills – Kung Fu, dance, songs, drama and music.
Victoria Gallery & Museum CNY Family Activities (28 January)
To celebrate Chinese New Year, the University of Liverpool Confucius Institute will host a family activity event at the Victoria Gallery and Museum on the Saturday 28 January 2023 from 11:00pm – 3:00pm. The aim of this event is to promote friendly exchange between China and the UK, and for the Liverpool community to have fun learning about Chinese culture.
Activities will include traditional Chinese dance, a Chinese game called ‘pitch-pot’, paper-cutting, origami, and Chinese calligraphy. So, please come along and make some beautiful Chinese art to take home with you!
Chinese New Year At The Lady Lever Art Gallery (28 January)
Join the Lady Lever Art Gallery’s annual celebration of their fascinating Chinese collections and links to Wirral’s Chinese community.
Their fun day of festivities, on 28 January, for the Year of the Rabbit will include the following:
- 11am and 12noon: Find out all about the Lunar New Year and the legend of the Zodiac Race with Billy Hui, presenter of BBC Merseyside’s Orient Express.
- 11.30am: Come along and watch beautiful dances in traditional dress from the Wirral Chinese Cultural Association dance group.
- 1-4pm: Make a Chinese New Year card to wish happiness and prosperity to your friends and family for the year ahead at our Year for the Rabbit craft activities.
- 1, 2 and 3pm: The magnificent Liverpool Hung Gar Kung Fu Friendship Association return with a breath-taking Lion Dance performance, starting at the doors of the main entrance and continuing into the main hall to bring good luck and prosperity for the new year.
Chinese New Year Lion Dance at Museum of Liverpool (29 January)
Head to the Museum of Liverpool and watch Liverpool’s Hung Gar Kung Fu School perform the fabulous Lion dance, celebrating the Lunar New Year of the Rabbit. Performances will take place at the Museum Atrium at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm.
With so much happening in the city for Chinese New Year, you won’t be short of options! To discover even more events check out our What’s On listings.