Giant artworks featuring the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac will be revealed in Liverpool from tomorrow.
Artist Cherie Grist has created the designs - which feature the ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig – especially for Chinese New Year celebrations.
They will appear on walls and in shop windows in the run up to the main Year of the Pig events, with a rat the first to pop up on the side of the former Cabin nightclub in Berry Street.
Chinese lanterns have already started to decorate streets in the city centre, and buildings like the Everyman and Playhouse, the Bombed Out Church and Sefton Park Palm House are being illuminated in lucky red to mark the new year.
The 2019 celebrations also mark 20 years of twinning with Shanghai and the arrival of the Chinese Arch in Liverpool, which was carved and erected by craftsmen from the Chinese port city.
This Saturday, February 2, the Liverpool Hung Gar Kung Fu Friendship Association will parade through the city centre from Bold Street, performing a traditional dance symbolising good luck and good fortune, banishing the winter and welcoming spring.
Meanwhile an augmented reality trail will also be launched this weekend, giving people the opportunity to explore Chinatown, searching for signs that will bring to life the magical journey of a little girl called Jingwei and her pet pig’s journey from the East to the West.
The main celebrations take place from February 8-10 and include projections, pyrotechnics and family-friendly activities.