Year of the Rabbit: Celebrations for Lunar New Year 2023

This Sunday (22 January), marks the start of the Lunar New Year, and as we say goodbye to the year of the Tiger, we warmly welcome the year of the Rabbit. The rabbit is a symbol for longevity, peace and prosperity, with 2023 predicted to be a year of hope.

This year has been challenging in different ways – challenges which our whole community, both here in Liverpool and at XJTLU, has risen to with great strength and resolve, and for this we thank you.

The historic links and strong relations between China and Liverpool are well known and the University is extremely proud of our global community of students, who contribute significantly to the rich cultural diversity of our campuses and city, as well as our partnership with XJTLU, which provides life changing opportunities for student mobility.

Ways to celebrate

Below you’ll find some of the key activities and events taking place on campus and across the city – remember, you can view all these events and many more on our My Liverpool app, free for all students and staff to download.

1. Chinese New Year Gala, 27 January

To celebrate the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit, the Confucius Institute will be hosting a Chinese New Year Gala on Tuesday, 27 January 2023.

The gala will be held in the Tung Auditorium, Yoko Ono-Lennon Centre from 2:00pm – 4:00pm and will include Kung-Fu demonstrations as well as drama, music, dance, and song performances by professional troupes and local students.

2. Watch the dragon and unicorn parades and fire show at the city’s all-day celebration, 22 January

Head down to the Chinese arch, at the heart of Europe’s oldest Chinatown, from 12-5pm on Sunday, 22 January to take part in the city’s New Year celebrations.

There will be Tai Chi, dragon and unicorn parades and traditional Chinese dance, firecracker displays and a fire finale.

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 the storytelling bus and popular funfair.

See the full programme of events here.

3. Chinese and British Exhibition, from 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.

4. Chinese New Year Cabinet of Curiosities, till 28 January

Anthony Wong is a classically trained goldsmith running a studio practice from one of the oldest buildings in Liverpool, designing and making by hand using traditional methods.

Throughout January you are invited to the jewellery showcase, ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ at the Bluecoat Display Centre to view his exquisite pieces.

5. Chinese New Year at Lady Lever Art Gallery, 28 January

Join in with the Lady Lever Art Gallery’s annual celebration of their astonishing Chinese collections and links to Wirral’s Chinese community. Their Year of the Rabbit festivities take place on Saturday 28 January from 11am-4pm and includes talks, crafting and dance performances.

6. Chinese New Year lion dance at Museum of Liverpool, 29 January

You are invited to come along 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 1:00pm, 2:00pm and 3:00pm.

7. Don’t miss the New Year rabbits, 20-22 January

Three beautiful rabbit lanterns standing 1.5 meters high will take pride of place near the Chinese Arch as part of this year’s celebrations. Specially commissioned for 2023, the rabbits will be decorated in the traditional style of Chinese paper cuts and lit between 4pm and 10pm from Friday, 20 until Sunday, 22 January.

8. Discover Chinese Culture with Liverpool Confucius Institute

The Liverpool Confucius Institute (LCI) at the University of Liverpool organise a regular series of Chinese language (Mandarin) and cultural courses, including Chinese Mandarin HSK, Business Chinese, Calligraphy and Painting courses. For full course details and information on how to register please see the LCI website.