Dragon Boat Festival 2018

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World Museum’s free events planned to celebrate Chinese holiday

Liverpool’s World Museum is preparing for the 2018 Dragon Boat Festival, with a number of free events planned to celebrate the Chinese holiday which runs from 16 to 18 June.

This year’s festival comes in the middle of the highly successful run of the landmark exhibition China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors at World Museum, which opened in February and runs until 28 October 2018. Plenty of tickets are available until the end of the exhibition’s run, although pre-booking is essential.

The Dragon Boat Festival is an important and traditional holiday in China – with a place on the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage, it has been a public holiday in China since 2009 but has traditionally been observed in the country for more than 2000 years. The festival is an auspicious occasion, with dragon boat racing as the most important part of the celebrations. The wooden boats involved are elaborately decorated in the form of Chinese dragons and race to the sound of beating drums, with it being said that the winners will have good luck for the next year.

The free events taking place at World Museum to mark the Dragon Boat Festival will be running throughout the day, and will include:

  • Performances from the Liverpool Hung Gar Kung Fu School
  • Colourful and vibrant dragon dancing performances
  • Kung Fu workshops, where you can learn a few moves for yourself
  • Zodiac animal mask making and learning about the Chinese calendar

Dragons are an important aspect of traditional Chinese culture, as symbols of power, strength and good luck. The importance of these creatures is also visible in a number of pieces included in China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors, including dragon pendants, belt buckles and wine vessels.

Penny Arque, Education Manager at World Museum said “The Dragon Boat Festival is the latest in a number of exciting calendar dates we’re celebrating alongside our Terracotta Warriors exhibition. Our events showcase the vibrancy and diversity of both traditional and modern day Chinese culture.  In addition to our public events we run a range of primary school workshops which complement pupils visit to the exhibition. We’ve had more than 10,000 schoolchildren visiting since the exhibition opened in February, proving the popularity of our sessions.” 

Details here: www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/dragonboat

As well as the exciting events planned for the Dragon Boat Festival, World Museum is also holding the following free events throughout summer linked to its China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors exhibition:

  • Chinese Lanterns, various dates throughout July and August – Come and discover the history and skill of making Chinese lanterns, and make your own to take away with you!
  • Chinese Community Day, 12 August – Discover more about Chinese culture and traditions in this festival with local community groups and explore history of Liverpool’s China town.
  • Chinese Zodiac Masks, various dates throughout July and August – Join us to learn how to use the Chinese calendar, discover your zodiac animal and make your own zodiac animal mask to take away with you.
  • Men of Clay: China's Terracotta Army free talk, 4 August – This talk will explain why the Terracotta Army was created and how it was made as well as explore some of the restoration techniques used at the site today.
  • Who made the Terracotta Army for the Qin First Emperor? Free talk, 15 September – Join us for this special talk by the senior archaeologist from Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum Site Museum in China. The talk will explore who made the      Terracotta Army, why and how.
  • Mid-Autumn Festival, 21 September – Celebrate this full moon festival with lion dancing, terracotta warrior fighting re-enactments and martial arts demonstrations which you can join in with and learn some moves.
  • Taste of China Event, 20 October – Come and meet the team from the Pagoda Arts Centre of Liverpool’s Chinatown, with musical performances from the Pagoda Youth Orchestra, traditional dance demonstrations, and workshops where you can      have a try of both for yourself. You can also have a go at making some ancient Chinese knots made for good luck to take home.

Details of all events linked to our Terracotta Warriors exhibition can be found here: www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/terracottaevents

World Museum also has some paid-for events as part of its wider Education programme accompanying its China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors exhibition:

  • Running on various dates throughout summer, our Terracotta Toddlers sessions give children aged 3 to 5 and an accompanying adult the chance to meet a real life terracotta warrior as well as take part in a clay workshop. Sessions will run three times a day between 31 July and 4 August and then again from 21 August to 25 August. Tickets can be booked online at www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/wml/events, or by calling 0151 478 4444 or visiting the World Museum ticket booth in      person.
  • The Tiger of Qin schools workshop allows visitors to use hands-on investigation and their powers of deduction to discover what our handling objects reveal about this legendary man and his infamous army who, over 2200 years ago, created the China we know today. This session is only available on Wednesday mornings and exclusive entry to the exhibition for school groups is between 9.30-11.30am on Wednesdays.

The China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors exhibition is organised by National Museums Liverpool, United Kingdom and the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau and Shaanxi History Museum (Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Centre), People’s Republic of China.

Exhibition partners include the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Tianjin Airlines, Wendy Wu Tours, The Swire Charitable Trust, Unilever and The Foyle Foundation.  Quilter Cheviot Investment Management, Signature Living and London Stock Exchange Group as well as several individuals are also Terracotta Warrior Partners.

Tickets are priced from £14.50 for adults and £5.50 for children aged between 6 and 17 years. Children aged 5 years and under go free and there are a number of additional concessions. National Museums Liverpool members get free unlimited access to the exhibition. Further details of prices and how to book tickets can be found at www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/terracottawarriors 

Free entry
Open daily 10am-5pm
World Museum, William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EN
Telephone 0151 478 4393

Twitter: @world_museum
Instagram: @worldmuseum_
Facebook: /worldmuseum

Notes to Editors

Partners of China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors exhibition

Tianjin Airlines

Tianjin Airlines is honoured to support the Terracotta Warriors exhibition, and under our banner of ‘All ways with you’, we look forward in the near future to flying visitors directly from the UK to Xi’an to see the First Emperor’s tomb.

Wendy Wu Tours

Wendy Wu Tours is delighted to be the Keynote Partner of the Terracotta Warriors exhibition as the UK’s number one China and Asia travel and tour specialist, and look forward to working with National Museums Liverpool to deliver an exclusive customised tour to Xi’an, Beijing and Shanghai in 2018.

The Swire Charitable Trust

The Swire Charitable Trust is an independent grant making trust and has generously supported the exhibition’s education programme. 


Unilever is proud to be a Major Partner of the Terracotta Warriors exhibition, as one of the world’s leading consumer manufacturing companies with a proud history on Merseyside and an expanding market and research base inside China.

The Foyle Foundation

The Foyle Foundation is an independent grant making trust and has generously supported the exhibition and education programme. 

Quilter Cheviot Investment Management

Quilter Cheviot is proud to be a Terracotta Warriors exhibition Partner, as one of the UK’s leading private client focused investment managers with a long history in Merseyside.

About World Museum

Experience the world at your fingertips at World Museum, where millions of years of the Earth’s history are revealed through incredible exhibits and hands-on activities. Find out how humans have shaped the world we inhabit, from Africa to the Americas, Asia and Europe. Explore underwater life in the Aquarium and complete your visit by blasting off on a spectacular journey through space and time as the universe unfolds around you in the Planetarium. World Museum’s Ancient Egypt gallery, which houses one of the finest ancient Egyptian and Nubian collections in Europe, opened in 2017. World Museum was awarded a VisitEngland Gold Accolade for excellence in 2015.

About National Museums Liverpool

National Museums Liverpool comprises eight venues, including some of the most visited museums in England outside of London. Our collections are among the most important and varied in Europe and contain everything from Impressionist paintings and rare beetles to a lifejacket from the Titanic. We attract more than 3 million visitors every year. Our venues are the Museum of Liverpool, World Museum, the Walker Art Gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, Border Force National Museum, Sudley House and the Lady Lever Art Gallery. www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk 

National Museums Liverpool is regulated by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).  Museums and galleries regulated by DCMS are exempt charities under Schedule 3 of the Charities Act 2011. Registered Office: World Museum, William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EN.