Chinese New Year 2019 in Liverpool: 10 Things you need to know

A three day celebration welcoming Chinese New Year will take place to mark the 20th anniversary of Liverpool’s twinning with Shanghai.

The city’s Year of the Pig festivities will start on Friday 8 February 2019 with a focus on the Chinese arch, which was gifted to Liverpool by the city of Shanghai twenty years ago as a symbol of the twinning relationship.

Building up to the main celebrations, thousands of Chinese lanterns will adorn city centre streets and Chinatown, and a number of buildings including St Luke’s Church (the Bombed Out Church), Everyman & Playhouse Theatres and Sefton Park Palm House will turn red in homage to China.

With so much to see and do, we’ve put together this handy list of times, dates and locations to make sure you see in the Chinese New Year in style.

Here’s 10 things you need to know about the Chinese New Year 2019 celebrations……

1 – Liverpool Turns (Even More) Red

From Monday 28th January 2019 the city will be adorned with red lanterns and many iconic Merseyside buildings will be lit up in red, paying homage to China. Scroll down for a full list of buildings.

2 – Lions & Projections and Pyrotechnics, oh my!

From 7pm on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th February 2019, there will be lion dancing and Chinese influenced street theatre in and around the Chinese arch, which will build up to a unique projection and pyrotechnic show at the arch and on surrounding buildings.

3 – The Quest For The Arch

This years projection is called The Quest for the Arch. The story follows the journey of a little girl and a pig from Shanghai to Liverpool. The soundtrack will provided by musician and composer Jah Wobble and will feature a live element too. It will end at around 7.45pm.

4 – Sunday Funday in China Town

If you miss the Friday and Saturday performances, fear not. The Chinese arch street entertainment, the Lumiere and pyrotechnic show will also take place on Sunday 10 February 2019 from 6pm.

5 – Chinese Markets

On Sunday 10th February 2019 you can also enjoy the George Street Chinese Market where there are loads of stalls selling gifts, souvenirs and of course, mouth-watering Chinese food. The amazing smells will draw you in!

6 – Bring The Family

Sunday 10th February 2019 is also the main day for lots of Chinese New Year family fun. Expect workshops on traditional Chinese arts, a fairground, parade, the thrilling firecracker displays and lots of street performances. Family activities begin from 11:30am and end at 6:45pm. Head to Great George’s Square and Nelson Street to get involved.

7 – Year of the Pig

Those born in 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995 or 2007 are all classed as Pigs and so this is your Chinese New Year. Click here to check out our top Berry Street and Duke Street bars and treat yourself to a CNY drink. Cheers!

8 – Get There With Merseyrail

You can travel from right across the Merseyside region to the heart of the city centre throughout the Chinese New Year celebrations with Merseyrail. The nearest station is Liverpool Central and a Merseyrail Family Ticket (which can be used for a family of up to 5) gives you unlimited off-peak travel. It costs just £11 and covers 1 or 2 adults travelling with children aged 5-15. Click here to plan your journey.

9 – The Food

Come on, we all LOVE Chinese food in Liverpool and what better weekend is there to tuck into a portion of Sui Mai’s and pancakes stuffed with Crispy Duck in Hoisin Sauce? We are spoiled to choice in the city for top quality Chinese restaurants. Just take a stroll up Berry Street and in to China Town and choose your fave.

10 – Make a weekend of it

We love an occasion in the city and Chinese New Year always marks the start of our events calendar in Liverpool so why not use up your weekend to the max by exploring our other attractions too? Book your family meal on the Albert Dock before taking in the sights at Maritime Museum or the Museum of Liverpool. Head to Liverpool ONE to catch a film and explore the 120 stores and restaurants. Or visit our two Cathedrals and grab a bite on Hope Street while you are there. The city is yours for the taking and always booming when we host events like this.


Deputy Mayor and cabinet member for culture, tourism and events, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “The Chinese New Year celebrations are a wonderful way to kick start the annual events calendar. This is a particularly special year as it marks the 20th anniversary of our twinning with Shanghai. This global friendship was built on historic trade links, and today we maintain a partnership with China which furthers investment and development for both parties.

“The projections will, literally, shine a light on the arch – a symbol of our friendship. We have seen in previous years how popular the lumiere is – and this year’s beautiful work will be no exception. It will undoubtedly be a wonderful few days and an opportunity for people to come together to celebrate our much-loved Chinese community.”

The event is organised by Liverpool City Council and is supported by Liverpool Chinese Business Association, the Liverpool BID Company, Liverpool ONE and Royal Liver Building 360. Digital experts Illuminos have created the lumiere ‘The Quest for the Arch’ in partnership with Pagoda Arts, First Take and Jah Wobble.

The full list of buildings lighting up red are:

St Luke’s Church (Bombed Out Church), Central Library and World Museum, Town hall, Cunard Building and St George’s Hall, Everyman & Playhouse Theatres, Liverpool One, Moorfields and James St Stations, Martin Luther King Building, Royal Liverpool Albert Dock, Open Eye Gallery, Port of Liverpool Building, Sefton Park Palm House, The Arch, Toxteth Library, Unity Theatre and key Wirral buildings such as the tower at Wallasey Town Hall, the panoramic lounge at the Floral Pavilion and the Queen Victoria monument in Hamilton Square. If you’re out snapping your favourite building during Chinese New Year, don’t forget to send us your pics on socials @TheGuideLpool


For more information about timings, activities, family workshops or the projections, visit: www.cultureliverpool.co.uk/cny or follow @culturelpool on Twitter or Culture Liverpool on Facebook. #ChineseNewYear #CNYLiverpool

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