|Chinatown in Liverpool. [Xinhua]|
The British city of Liverpool is to host a nine-month-long festival of the best of Chinese contemporary art and culture next year to mark the city's 10th anniversary as the 2008 European Capital of Culture, city hall officials announced on Thursday.
Full details of the festival will be announced in January, they said, adding that the Year of the Dog celebrations in Europe's oldest Chinatown will begin the festival under the banner of "China Dream".
The 2018 Chinese New Year celebrations will not just bigger than ever, but also signal the start of the China Dream festival.
New Year festivities will run the length of Berry Street in Chinatown, while a spectacular projection show will illuminate the city's Chinese Arch, the largest outside the Chinese mainland, and surrounding buildings, accompanied by music from popular Chinese artists.
There will also be a Chinese New Year pyrotechnic display which city officials say "will blow your socks off".
February's launch of China Dream also coincides with the opening of the Terra-cotta Warriors exhibition at World Museum Liverpool, which is destined to attract visitors from both home and abroad to enjoy the rare experience of seeing the famous ancient artifacts on British soil.
"During China Dream, unique, revolutionary artists and photographers will be commissioned to create one-off pieces which showcase the best of Chinese contemporary culture," said a city spokeswoman.
In the summer, Shanghai, Liverpool's twin city, takes over the world-famous River Mersey waterfront to present Shanghai.
It will feature 10 of its best emerging artists, as well as a special showcase from the Shanghai Film Festival, which will bring the latest in Chinese film to an English-speaking audience.
China Dream concludes in October with a celebration of the Moon Festival, China's "golden week" harvest-time holiday, where some of the biggest names in the country's pop music scene will descend on the Mersey to bring the latest Chinese sounds to Liverpool music lovers.
The city spokesman added: "We are working with some amazing performers and artists in China to present what will be an amazing festival in Liverpool."
Liverpool and Shanghai became sister cities in 1999, both sharing stunning waterfronts and long trading links.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson, said, "Liverpool 2018 is an opportunity for us to roll out the red carpet for people to come and visit for the first time, or to rediscover what we believe is the most exciting destination in the UK."
"Some of the projects which we will be announcing in the New Year really do raise the bar and it will be an incredible time for residents and visitors who will undoubtedly travel from across the world to experience how Liverpool puts on a show," Anderson said.
China Dream forms part of the Liverpool 2018 celebrations, supported by the official Great Britain campaign.
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