2018 is the Chinese Year of the Dog, with lots going on across the city, from food festivals to parades and parties. Keep your eye out for the festive red lanterns all over the city centre and the Year of the Dog campaign identity created by local artist Stanley Chow.
Here’s our pick of things to see and do.
The Dragon Parade
This much loved dragon parade through the streets of Manchester is back for 2018. On Sunday 18 February, the giant dragon will be joined by traditional lion dancers, martial artists, a funfair, and food stalls on Charlotte Street. Events start at 12pm with a display of dance and martial arts in Albert Square, with the dragon appearing at 12.30pm and making its way to Chinatown for 1.30pm. There will be a range of Chinese-inspired entertainment from 2pm-5pm in Chinatown and Albert Square, whilst Lion and Unicorn characters will visit and bless businesses in Chinatown. Then stand back and wait for the fireworks in Chinatown at 6pm.
Chinese Food Festival in St Ann’s Square
A fabulous food market overlooked by a giant decorative golden dragon is coming to St Ann’s Square on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 February from 11am till 7pm. Enjoy some of your favourite Chinese foods including festive dumplings, dim sum and steamed buns, across a range of stalls. Free.
Special Chinese menu at Randall & Aubin
Bridge Street favourite Randall & Aubin are serving up a special Chinese-style à la carte menu alongside the usual à la carte menu on Saturday 17 February only. To book your table phone 0161 711 1007. See the full à la carte menu in Chinese here.
Free gifts and goodies at intu Trafford Centre
Thousands of pounds worth of free gifts and goodies will be hidden around intu Trafford Centre from Thursday 15 February for lucky shoppers to get their hands on as part of its Chinese New Year celebrations. On Friday 16 February, be mesmerised by the hypnotic movements of the Lion Dance as the talented performers exhibit one of China’s most famous displays. The parade will be performed four times throughout the day starting at 2.15pm. Also on Friday 16 February, children and LEGO lovers of all ages are invited to join LEGOLAND Discovery Centre’s master model builder to create a LEGO Chinese dragon. On Saturday 17 February, local artist Joe Ford will be teaching children the traditional art form of woodblock painting on Peel Avenue between 11am and 4pm.
Free fizz at Grill on the Alley/New York Street
Celebrate Chinese New Year with a complimentary glass of fizz when you order any lobster dish on the menu at Grill on the Alley and Grill on New York Street on Friday 16 February. Book here.
Chinese New Year at HOME
Manchester’s centre for international contemporary art, theatre and film HOME is bringing together a selection of the best recent Chinese language films to celebrate the arrival of The Year of The Dog throughout February. And there’s an exhibition of contemporary moving image by female artists from China in partnership with the Central Academy of Fine Arts (Beijing). This is a display of performance, new media art, pen and ink animation, stop-motion and much more.
Radley dogs at House of Fraser
Radley’s stylish handbags, purses and accessories are famous for their trademark Scottie dog, and to celebrate the year of the dog, the Radley dogs will be in store at House of Fraser on Friday 16 February.They will also have a live window on Saturday 17 February with an artist creating traditional art in celebration of Chinese New Year, and there’s a chance to win two tickets to watch Man City if you take a selfie in store with their Instagram frame.
Family crafts at Manchester Arndale
Get hands on and have fun taking part in a range of Chinese cultural activities including knot making and charm design at workshops led by teachers from China at the Manchester Arndale Centre on Saturday 17 February from 11am to 5pm.
Make Some Noise at The Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art
An interactive sound workshop is coming to The Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art on Saturday 17 February 2pm-4pm. It will be using the exciting electronic invention tool Makey Makey, which allows users to connect computer programmes with real life objects. By the end of the session, you will be able to create your own group sound installation. Tickets are available from the CFCCA shop or on Eventbrite.
Sunday Funday at Central Library
Manchester Central Library is opening on Sunday from 12 midday until 5pm for a celebration of Chinese culture, with arts and crafts, storytellers and entertainment for all the family including paper folding workshops, tea ceremonies and much more.
Red Envelopes at Exchange Square
Lucky red envelopes will be given out at central Manchester’s Exchange Square tram stop on Sunday 18 February with up to £250 worth of shopping vouchers inside.
Selfridges Exchange Square
Selfridges Exchange Square will be welcoming the Year of the Dog with a host of exciting activities and offerings from Thursday 15 to Sunday 18 February. As well as a temporary new look, the store will host fashion illustrators Dom & Ink who will be in store creating bespoke illustrations for shoppers to take home. There will also be a Chinese calligrapher and Chinese knot making station plus brand activities on counters.
Manchester Airport is bringing the popular Pugfest back to Manchester for a special Chinese New Year-themed event on Sunday 25 February at Tribeca from 11am till 5pm. Pugfest will see Chinese entertainment and activities including the Grand Pug Dog Show, Chinese-themed food and drinks, a Chinese fortune teller for both humans and pugs, calligraphy and Chinese lantern workshops. Pugs are encouraged to wear their finest Chinese and aviation-themed fancy dress with prizes on offer for the best dressed pug. Last year’s Pugfest in Manchester was a sell-out event with more than 4,000 people and 1,000 pugs attending. You’d be barking to miss it. Tickets are available online.
Family fun day at Z-arts
There’s a big Chinese themed arts and craft celebration at Hulme’s Z-arts on Saturday 17 February from 10.30am. Expect a Year of the Dog-inspired day, suitable for families and young children. Admission is free but it’s set to be popular, so booking is advised.