Manchester is all set to celebrate its second new year of 2019 this month as we welcome in the Year of the Pig with celebrations happening in Chinatown and around the city between 2nd and 10th February.

From thought-provoking art exhibitions and installations to street food markets, martial arts and a dragon parade, there’s plenty to get involved in.

Chinternet Ugly Exhibition at CFCCA

Head into the CFCCA during Chinese New Year to check out their exhibit Chinternet Ugly – an important new group show navigating the messy vitality of China’s online realm. Featuring works by six leading new media artists, space has been created to engage, play and debate.

You can also create your own ‘meme’ at a workshop in Manchester Arndale led by experienced practitioners, who will help you use traditional craft techniques such as printing and calligraphy to create a meme you can take home with you.

Where: Centre For Chinese Contemporary Art
When: Galleries and exhibitions are open Tuesday 5th until Sunday 10th February, 10am–5pm, and are free to enter

The Dragon Parade

Follow the Chinese New Year Parade led by a spectacular 175-foot dragon from Albert Square to Chinatown, where you’ll find traditional lion dances, street food, stalls, live performances, a funfair and fantastic fireworks finale.

Where: Albert Square
When: Sunday 10th February, 12.30pm

Lion Dance

In Chinese culture, the lion symbolizes wisdom, power and superiority. Every year in Manchester the lion dance is performed to bring good fortune to the city and chase away evil spirits.

Where: Outside Boots on Market Street
When: Sunday 10th February 12pm, 1pm and 2pm

Tai Chi demonstrations and workshops

Try your hand at the traditional practice of Tai Chi, with professional demonstrations on the hour and free workshops on the half hour with Start Tai Chi.

Where: Manchester Arndale
When: Thursday 7th until Sunday 10th February, 11am-5pm

Meet Piglet

UK artist Alex Rinsler has been commissioned to create a giant piglet – which will be on display in St Ann’s Square throughout the duration of the festival. The Piglet will don a handsome coat made from thousands of pennies for good luck and visitors are invited to contribute to piggy banks around the sculpture, with proceeds going to Manchester’s most vulnerable via charities The Big Change and the Wai Yin Society.

Where: St Ann’s Square
When: Tuesday 5th until Sunday 10th February, 11am-7pm

Learn Calligraphy and Brush Painting

Join Manchester’s Confucius Institute at the Virgin Money Lounge on King Street to explore the traditional art of writing Chinese characters and learn basic Chinese painting techniques.

Where: The Confucius Institute
When: Saturday 9th February, 11am-4pm

Albert Square Celebrations

Head to Albert Square to try your hand at Chinese Arts & Crafts, sample traditional Chinese cuisine at the food market and meet the 8metre inflatable Chinese Money God.

Where: Albert Square
When: Friday 8th until Sunday 10th February

Giant Golden Dragon

Head to Exchange Square to catch a glimpse of the giant, glittering Golden Dragon that has taken up residence for the long weekend – and share your pics using the #chinesenewyearMCR.

Where: Exchange Square
When: Thursday 7th until Sunday 10th February

Street Food Market

St Ann’s Square hosts some of the city’s best purveyors of Chinese food and drink during the festival, including Dim Sum SU, Jade Rabbit, Wallace & Sons and Kowloon Café.

Where: St Ann’s Square
When: Thursday 7th until Sunday 10th February

Discover traditional Chinese knot making

Head to Selfridges’ accessories department to discover traditional Chinese knot making at Selfridges  – where you’ll receive a complimentary Chinese knot keyring in a colour of your choice, perfect for welcoming happiness, prosperity, love and good luck into the new year.

Where: Selfridges
When: 2nd, 3rd, 9th and 10th February, 2-6pm (Sunday 11am-4pm)

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