Your guide to Chinese New Year in Liverpool

Liverpool is gearing up for its biggest ever Chinese New Year celebrations to welcome the Year of the Dog.

Thousands of lanterns already line city centre streets and buildings have turned red to mark festivities.

The main activity will take place this weekend, so here is your guide to everything you need to know.


What can you expect to see?

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).


What is the projection?

The new 12-minute projection commissioned by the city council and entitled Jingwei’s Legacy (a continuation follow from last year’s creation around an ancient Chinese myth, Jingwei and the Ocean) will be shown four times. The stunning creation focuses on cultural diversity and the hope that communities can live together harmoniously regardless of their backgrounds or beliefs.


Is the main focus of the celebrations on Sunday as in previous years?

Yes, expect a day of parades, street performances, family workshops, shadow puppet theatre, art installations, and of course the popular Chinese market on George Street selling gifts, souvenirs and mouth-watering Chinese food. The projections will act as a finale, along with a short pyrotechnic moment.


Is it free?

Yes – completely free to attend!


What is the running order for the whole weekend?


Friday 16 & Saturday 17 February

7pm –  Entertainment will start from 7pm as Hung Gar Kung Fu wow crowds with an illuminated dragon and Lion  dance. There will also be performances by Chinese and British students in traditional Chinese dress and inspired by the Warring State and Hip Hop – a partnership by Pagoda Arts, Everyman Playhouse and Liverpool Confucius Institute.

7.30-8.30pm   Jinewei’s Legacy will then be shown four times on a loop


Sunday 18 February

Parade times

11.45am                      Dragon and Lion parade begins, starting from the Blackie.

12.15pm                      Unicorn parade starts outside the Chung Wah supermarket on Nelson Street.

Both parades will meet around 1pm in Great George Square where a firecracker display will take place. They will then continue on their separate routes and finish from 3.30pm.


Great George Square Stage 11:30am – 6pm

11:30am – 12:15pm   Kwong Tam School of Tai Chi (in association with See Yep Association)

12:20 – 1pm               Flower Drums, Fan Tai Chi, Dance and Happy Dance! (Pagoda Arts)

1:05 – 1:45pm             Firecracker Display – Lucky Man, Dragon and Unicorn Parades

1:45 – 2pm                 Martial Arts Demonstration (Liverpool Hung Gar Kung Fu Friendship Association)

2:05 – 2:25pm            Traditional Chinese Fan Dance & Cheongsam Costume Show (Wah Sing Community Centre Dancers)

2:35 – 2:45pm            Chinese Red Lantern Dance (Friendship Dancers)

2:50 – 3:20pm            24 Festival Drums (Liverpool Guild of Students)

3:30 – 4pm                 Chinese Fusion Dance Workshop – have a go!  (Movema Dance)

16:00 – 5pm               A showcase of traditional and contemporary music, dance and song by Chinese students (Everyman and Playhouse and Liverpool Confucius Institute)

5 – 5:30pm                 Terracotta Warriors Love – A performance inspired by the fusion of Chinese Opera, Martial arts and contemporary dance. (Pagoda Arts, Everyman and Playhouse and Liverpool Confucius Institute).

5:30 – 6pm                 Chinese Fusion Dance (Movema Dance & 24 Festival Drums, Liverpool Guild of Students)


Chinese Arch/Nelson Street

6.30pm                        Chinese New Year lumiere – Jingwei’s Legacy

6.40pm                        Pyrotechnic display

6.45pm                        Event ends


Are there any road closures?

Due to the nature of the event, road closures are unavoidable. Here is a full list of all the closures, all of which will be clearly signposted on the affected days.

7pm until 9pm – Friday 16 February and Saturday 17 February:

Great George Street from Duke Street to Upper Parliament Street

Upper Duke Street from Rodney Street (westbound only)

6am until 9pm on Sunday 18 February:

Gt. George Street (from its junction with St James Street to its junction with Duke Street), Duke Street (from its junction with Gt. George Street to its junction with Berry Street), Upper Duke Street (from its junction with Berry Street to its junction with Rodney Street), Berry Street (from its junction with Leece Street/Renshaw Street to its junction with Duke Street), Nelson Street (from its junction with Gt. George Street to its junction with Upper Pitt Street), Grenville Street South (from its junction with Bailey Street to its junction with Cornwallis Street), Sankey Street (entire length), Griffiths Street (entire length), Seel Street (from its junction with Colquitt Street to its junction with Berry Street), Back Berry Street (entire length), Knight Street (from its junction with Berry Street to its junction with Rodney Street), Roscoe Street (from its junction with Leece Street to its junction with Upper Duke Street), Bold Place (entire length), Roscoe Lane (entire length), Back Knight Street (entire length), Cookson Street (entire length), Pitt Street (entire length), Upper Pitt Street (from its junction with Nelson Street to its junction with Hardy Street), York Street (entire length), Raffles Street (entire length), Bold Street (from its junction with Berry Street to its junction with Newington/ Renshaw St/Leece. Access to business/residents will be allowed up to 10am)

Hanover Street

Due to the closure of Berry Street access to businesses on Hanover Street will be severely restricted from Seel Street. It is recommended that any deliveries etc. are made before 10am on the day.

Great George Street closure requires a bus and traffic diversion for the duration of the event: 

Alternative Route will be via: – either Leece Street, Hardman Street, Myrtle Street, Catherine Street, Upper Parliament Street and Great George Street; or Upper Parliament Street, Grove Street, Oxford Street, Mount Pleasant, Rodney Street or Clarence Street to follow other locally signed diversion routes.


Where are the lanterns?

The Chinese lanterns are on William Brown Street, Lime Street, Renshaw Street, Ranelagh Street, Berry Street, Nelson Street and Great George Square.  They also adorn Liverpool ONE and Exchange Flags. After the success of the ‘Follow the Star’ campaign which took place at Christmas, Kazimier Productions have illuminated the Bold Street thoroughfare, 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.


Which buildings have turned red?

The buildings/locations which have turned red to mark Chinese New Year are St George’s Hall, Town Hall, Cunard Building, Everyman & Playhouse Theatres, Central Library – Picton Colonnade, Mersey Tunnel Ventilation Tower GDB (The Strand), St Luke’s (Bombed Out Church), The Rocket Flyover, World Museum Liverpool, Greystone Road Bridge (over M62, Knowsley), Wallasey Town Hall, Birkenhead Town Hall, Liverpool ACC (NOT 15th – 21st Feb due to prior event booking). They will remain red until Wednesday 28 February.


Anything else you need to know?

This year’s Chinese New Year celebrations form part of the China Dream season, in partnership with University of Liverpool, which is set to be one of the highlights of the Liverpool 2018 programme – celebrating ten years since the city held the title of European Capital of Culture. Highlights of the season include the China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors exhibition at World Museum and free contemporary exhibition PRESENCE: A Window into Chinese Contemporary Art at St George’s Hall which features work from 19 of the most exciting emerging and established artists who hail from mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the diaspora.


Who has made this event possible? 

The event is organised by Liverpool City Council and is supported by the University of Liverpool, Liverpool BID Company, Liverpool ONE, Stagecoach, Merseyrail, Pagoda Arts, First Take, Arts Council England and the COoL Collective.

The Chinese New Year celebrations forms part of the Liverpool 2018 events programme which is supported by the City Region Combined Authority with £5 million from the Single Investment Fund.


Where can I find more information?

For more information about timings, activities, family workshops or the projections, visit or follow @culturelpool on Twitter or Culture Liverpool on Facebook.


Liverpool Waterfront