Each year in Liverpool the Chinese community host a celebration for the Chinese New Year in Chinatown which is home to the oldest Chinese community in Europe
The arch located at the gateway of Chinatown is also the biggest, multiple-span arch of its kind outside of China, and it’s estimated that 2% of Liverpool’s population are Chinese or of Chinese descent making it the city’s single largest non-white ethnic group.
This year Hubs, daughter and I headed into town to enjoy the festivities. It really was an dismal day weather wise as it was absolutely freezing, blowing a gale and raining. Grim, really grim it was. And as all the major roads were blocked off we had to park miles away so it was a case of heads down and power walking for an hour into the city. By the time we got there we were beginning to lose the will to live!
Just as we reached Chinatown we looked up and realized that the parade was almost finished! The last firecracker was flickering in the rain and the drums fell silent. Gutted we were and frozen solid….and drenched! All we could see was a dragon rapidly disappearing into the distance….which hubs reckoned was on it’s way home. Refusing to lose out I followed it….and to my surprise it crept off into a square where hundreds of people had gathered and the festivities began all over again. How lucky was that!!!
It was a wonderful display. Banners soared high above the crowds and dragons danced recklessly in front of the exploding firecrackers to the beat of huge drums that exactly matched the beat of our hearts.
Smoke and pieces of firecrackers were blinding, and deafening. And then on the top of the scaffold a guy tried to put some rogue firecrackers out and almost blew his foot off!!!Fortunately, he was o.k.
So we got to enjoy the parade and all the celebrations after all.
By this time the three of us could no longer feel our fingers, toes or noses, and as the festivities were winding down and the dragon was definitely heading home we decided to go and have a Chinese meal.
Now normally when the three of us decide to have a spontaneous meal it never seems to work out. Daughter may decide she doesn’t like the menu, or hubs dislikes the prices and venue….etc etc etc…of course I’m the easy going one who NEVER puts barriers in the way of a good meal….anyway, in the past the three of us have often roamed aimlessly, squabbling, from restaurant to restaurant ….but NOT on this day. Oh no.
The first restaurant we came to, the three of us were happy with, without even looking at the menu or prices…and …it was closed!!! So…on to the next one.
Which was absolutely packed….and had a three hour waiting period. I kid you not, but we traipsed around town for HOURS looking for a meal and we couldn’t get in anywhere. So we walked to the other side of town and had an Italian meal….not really in keeping but still utterly delicious.
So…on behalf of our wonderful Chinese community, I would like to wish you all a very happy, healthy, prosperous Chinese New Year.