6 Things you can see and do during the ‘China Dream’ celebrations

The city is dressed in red and ready to party as the China Dream cultural experience officially launches in Liverpool.

It’s no secret that our city is a bit of stunner, but as you go about your city centre shopping and socialising this weekend, you’ll notice that some of the most prominent buildings and streets have been painted red, and it’s all because of a China Dream, the first weekend of a (near) year long programme of cultural celebrations.

What is China Dream?

China Dream is a celebration of the next great cultural powerhouse and the relationship between China and the UK and Liverpool and Shanghai.

China Dream’ brings together a number of events, activities and installations which celebrate Chinese culture, history and of course, Chinese New Year.

China Dream will happen in three chapters which are outlined below.

Chapter One

February – June
A celebration of the existing relationship between Liverpool and China through the voices of young Chinese people within the city.

Chapter Two

June – August
A celebration of the best of modern Chinese culture with a focus on our sister city, Shanghai, ahead of the 20th anniversary of the twinning of cities in 2019.
Working with some of the leading artists in Shanghai, who will present their exciting projects in Liverpool, inspired by the China Dream.

Chapter Three

August – October
During the Moon Festival, we will celebrate the best emerging Chinese artists and musicians, which will see some of the biggest names in Chinese music to our UNESCO City of Music.

With so much to see and do, from must-see exhibitions to parades, ancient arts and so many brilliant photo opportunities, Liverpool is officially celebrating the Year of the Dog with style.

Here’s 6 things you can see and do throughout the China Dream celebrations from 8th-28th February 2018 (Chapter One)

1 – Paint the Town Red

Lanterns at Liverpool ONE. Photo Credit: Dave the Pap

The city is now decorated in 9000 red lanterns and a number of our iconic buildings are lit up in red and adorned with China Dream Artwork. Check out St George’s Hall, World Museum, Town Hall, Liverpool Uni, St John’s Beacon and Cunard Building from 5pm for a spectacular photo.

2 – Presence at St George’s Hall

Billed as ‘A window into contemporary Chinese Art’ this free exhibition features work from 19 of the most exciting emerging and established artists who hail from mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the diaspora. The free PRESENCE exhibition includes sculptures, paintings, installations, videos and photographs and will take over the vaults of the Grade I listed Hall – an area not generally open to the public. Click here to find out more.

3 – The Star of Bold Street

China Dream

The Star of Bold Street will return with a red glow. How Bold Street looked last Christmas

After the success of the ‘Follow the Star’ campaign which took place at Christmas, Kazimier Productions will once again illuminate the Bold Street thoroughfare from 9th February 2018, this time with eight large lanterns accompanied by red lasers which will shine from the bell tower of St Luke’s Church. A newly commissioned sound design will run alongside this work which has been created by Kazimier in partnership with Pagoda Arts.

4 – Lions on Parade

Liverpool Hung Gar Kung Fu Friendship Association perform a traditional Lion Dance symbolising good luck and good fortune, banishing the winter and welcoming spring.  The parade will take place through the city centre, starting on Bold Street at 1pm and finishing at Liverpool ONE. Pagoda Arts will also be performing at Keys Court within Liverpool ONE with a programme of dance and Tai Chi. Check out the parade route here.

5 – China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors

Having made the 5,000 mile journey to go on display at the World Museum, William Brown Street, the exhibition tells the story of the unification of China by the First Emperor, Qin Shi Huang in 221 BC and features not only the impressive Terracotta Warriors but also intricate accessories, armour, jewellery, artwork and more. Hailed as the 8th Wonder of the World, this blockbuster exhibition brings 1,000 years of history to the heart of Liverpool. Click here to get your tickets now. 

6 – Chinese New Year Weekend

The main Chinese New Year celebrations will take place from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 February. Each night, a beautiful lumiere display will take over Chinatown, lighting up the Chinese Arch, the Black-E and The Arch (formerly known as the Scandinavian Hotel). With loads of entertainment, from parades, dances and a huge pyrotechnic finale on the Sunday evening, Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dog will have truly arrived in Liverpool. Click here for the full run down of what’s on. Watch last year’s highlights above.

What are you most looking forward to this Chinese New Year? Drop us a line on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with your best photos and comments and we’ll share the best on our socials.


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