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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 January 2006, 14:26 GMT
Region welcomes Year of The Dog
Chinese Arch, Liverpool
Liverpool's New Year celebrations started at the city's Chinese Arch
Thousands of people have flocked to the Chinatowns of Liverpool and Manchester to celebrate the start of the Chinese New Year on Sunday.

The Liverpool celebrations welcoming the Chinese Year Of The Dog began in Great George Street and featured major fireworks and dragon dancing.

Manchester's began with martial arts and dance displays in Albert Square at noon, followed by a dragon parade.

Liverpool is home to one of the oldest Chinese communities in Europe.

Entertainment in Liverpool included unicorn and lion dancing, tai chi demonstrations and firecracker displays.

Manchester was treated to a special performance by the Wuhan City Arts Group, a world-renowned troupe of dancers, acrobats, magicians and opera stars, who have been brought over to celebrate Manchester's 20-year sister city relationship with Wuhan.

Unicorn dance heralds Year of Dog
21 Jan 06 |  Merseyside

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