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Massive Chinese arch is 10

Twinning with Shanghai means double-header of celebratons as Year of Tiger street party gets under way

Published on February 18th 2010.

Massive Chinese arch is 10

LIVERPOOL and Shanghai are twins, and this weekend they celebrate their 10th birthday as such, with a grand banquet of fun

The first event marks the decade since the biggest Chinese arch outside mainland China went up on the tiny Nelson Street.

The second takes place on Sunday when the belated Year of the Tiger festivities get under way.

The twinning celebration will take place on Saturday in the form of a a traditional blessing ceremony to mark the 10th birthday of the largest Chinese Arch in any Chinatown outside of mainland China - at 12 noon on Saturday, 20 February.

Liverpool Chinatown Arch scheme started in 1992 and formed part of the Liverpool Ropewalks initiative. The local Chinese community chose the design through a competition. The Shanghai Linyi Garden Company Ltd manufactured the components which were assembled like a huge jigsaw and shipped to Liverpool in five large containers.A team of 20 craftsmen - stone masons, stone carvers, painters and construction engineers travelled from Shanghai to Liverpool in October 1999. The total work program for the Arch was completed in under 90 days.

The archway is:

  • The largest Chinese archway in Europe
  • The largest Chinese archway in any Chinatown outside of mainland China
  • It is 13.5 metres high (the arch in San Francisco is wider but not as tall)
  • The Arch contains 200 hand – carved dragons, 188 ordinary dragons and 12 pregnant dragons - signifying good fortune between the two cities.

The arch was the star attraction in Liverpool’s Chinatown for the first Chinese New Year celebrations of the Millennium when, in February 2000, the Year of the Dragon was celebrated.

Come Sunday, Chinatown will be dressed in red with Chinese style flags and special lighting to welcome in the Year of the Tiger with the firecracker display at 1.00 pm at Great George Square by the Black-E.

The celebrations, organised by Liverpool Chinatown Chinese New Year Co-ordinating Committee and Liverpool City Council, run from 12noon to 4pm and include the lion, dragon and unicorn dances, tai chi demonstrations and a Chinese New Year market (Great George Street).

A host of other eye-catching activities will be displayed along Nelson Street, Berry Street and Duke Street area, including live music and a fun fair while educational activities will be held at The Blackie. (Liverpool’s Chinese New Year programme can be downloaded at www.lcba.net)

Meanwhile, St. Luke’s Church, on Leece Street, will also be joining in, with artists and caretakers in residence Urban Strawberry Lunch inviting the public to decorate the bombed out building.

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