16 ways to celebrate Chinese New Year 2017 in Manchester

Chinese New Year 2017 falls on Saturday 28 January and celebrations in Manchester are going to be the biggest to date, spanning a whole four days from Thursday 26 – Sunday 29 January.

So say goodbye to the Year of The Monkey and hello to the Year of the Rooster at a series of street events, stalls, workshops and more organised by Manchester’s Business Improvement District, The Federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester and Manchester City Council. Most events are free!

Dragon Parade 

This parade led by a dragon 175 feet long on 29 January is one of the most popular Chinese New Year events in Manchester. It starts at 12pm in Albert Square and moves from The Town Hall all the way down Portland Street to Chinatown. There will also be a Chinese Market in Albert Square and Chinatown, plus a funfair, from 12pm to 8pm. There’s something for all the family in this city-wide weekend special which ends with a fireworks finale at 6pm in Chinatown.

The Terracotta Warriors come to Manchester

A world-class art installation, The Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors, is coming to Exchange Square from 26 to 29 January. You can see 40 illuminated exact replicas of China’s Terracotta Warriors, the famous clay statues which guard the first Emperor of China in his Tomb, each over two metres tall. The statues were originally created for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, have travelled the world. Now it’s Manchester’s turn!

Chinese New Year Street Food Market

St Ann’s Square will be welcoming a Chinatown-style street food market inside a huge marquee from January 26-29. Enjoy food from some of the city’s favourite purveyors of Chinese and East Asian cuisine like Tampopo and Rice Bowl. Yang Sing restaurant will be celebrating its 40th birthday with prize giveaways, opportunities to make your own dim sum and a range of competitions. Open 11am-7pm.

Travelling Light Circus

Watch Deansgate turn into a dancefloor as dancers, drummers, stiltwalkers and a giant rooster create a carnival on January 27 and 28. Travelling Light Circus is a local collective of entertainers known for their street shows and outdoor arts installations.

Giant Chinese Dragon comes to Greengate Square

A 50ft golden Chinese Dragon will be installed at Greengate Square in Salford, just a two-minute walk over the bridge from Manchester Cathedral. It’s a great opportunity for a selfie so why not take one and upload it using the hashtag #chinesenewyearMCR. It’s there from 26-29 January, 10am-8pm.

Multi-gallery exhibition at The Centre For Contemporary Chinese Art 

Work by acclaimed artists Suki Chan and Joe Ford will be on display for you to enjoy at the CCCA. Chan’s exhibition ‘Lucida’  which explores the artistry of vision and the human eye is  open and free of charge in galleries 1 and 2 from January 26 until 30 April. Joe Ford will be running a tote bag printing workshop, which means visitors can use the cyanotype photographic printing process and create their own design on January 28 for just £4, from 1pm-4pm. All welcome.

Live music stage and traditional Chinese instruments in St Ann’s Square

The soundtrack for Chinese New Year 2017 in Manchester is provided by four days of live music in St Ann’s Square from 26-29 January, free of charge.  Highlights include Manchester’s Confucius Institute on January 28 with a day of music using some of the oldest Chinese instruments and a performance by Henry Fung, who plays the erhu, a traditional Chinese two-stringed instrument. The University of Manchester’s chamber choir Ad Solem will also perform a number of traditional songs for Chinese New Year.

Pay a visit to Ho’s Bakery 

This hidden Chinatown gem on the corner of Faulkner Street has over 25 years experience of making Chinese confectionery, cakes and breads you won’t get in the supermarket. Buns really are a big deal here, both sweet and savoury – everything from roast pork to honey, custard, even red bean. Recommended for an authentic taste of Chinese New Year.

Lion Dancing 

Lion dances are a tradition of Chinese New Year and you’ll be able to enjoy a colourful display from Thursday 26 to Saturday 28 January at 1, 2 and 3pm near Boots on Market Street.

Celebrations at Central Library 

There will be musical performances, craft sessions, storytelling and exclusive archive exhibitions to celebrate the Year of The Rooster at Manchester Central Library on Sunday 29 January from 12-4pm. Highlights include a Chinese tea ceremony, kite-making and face painting. It’s all free, just drop in when you like.

Calligraphy Workshops with Manchester Confucius Institute

Learn the skills of calligraphy and basic Chinese painting techniques in a series of free workshops  on Saturday 28 January from 12pm-4pm in the Virgin Money Lounge on King Street.

Chinese Film Forum at HOME

Enjoy contemporary Chinese cinema to celebrate New Year with a series  of short films at HOME, Manchester’s centre for arts and culture. Drawn from the Hong King International Film Festival’s ‘Beautiful’ series, the films will be introduced by senior visiting curator Andy Willis from the University of Salford at 6.15pm on Wednesday 25 January,

Family Chinese Arts and crafts at Manchester Arndale 

Badge crafting and lantern making are some of the exciting activities on at Manchester Arndale’s creative workshops in conjunction with Manchester Confucius Institute over the weekend. All free but any contributions to the University’s Access Programme are welcomed.

A weekend of celebrations at Harvey Nichols

One of Manchester’s most stylish department stores is putting on a show for Chinese New Year with live DJ sets, complimentary drinks, themed food and even the chance to win a luxury four night trip to Hong King. Visitors can also see the work of Grammy-nominated Manchester illustrator Stanley Chow in a special pop-up exhibition open from 20 January 2017.

Red envelope gifts at House of Fraser

Over the weekend of Chinese New Year, customers at House of Fraser will be in with a chance of receiving a special red envelope containing a range of treats from money-off vouchers to beauty surprises.

A window on Chinese New Year at Selfridges Exchange Square 

Selfridges Exchange Square will be turning completely red to celebrate the festive period from 26 – 29 January. Not only will the front of the store be lit up in beautiful colour, but there will be Chinese film projections in the store entrance and live lion dancers inside on  26 January. There are also a range of exclusive treats for you to enjoy over the weekend including Chinese New Year cards written by an expert calligrapher, complimentary engraving available on certain purchases, fragrance bottle painting and a Flower Cart pop-up where you can pick a bunch of plum blossom.


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