The first ever Manchester Moon Festival takes place this weekend in the heart of Manchester’s Chinatown on Saturday and Sunday from midday until 8pm.

The two-day event, which ties in with the traditional Chinese harvest festival, will feature workshops throughout the day which will give you the chance to have a go at making traditional mooncakes, Kung Fu, Chinese painting and lantern making.

Festival organisers are hoping the festival, which features colourful lantern displays, live music, craft stalls and a variety of food and drink stalls, will become a permanent fixture in Manchester’s events calendar.

The Moon Festival is held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar with full moon at night, corresponding to late September to early October in the western Gregorian calendar with a full moon at night.

Mooncakes have been central to the celebrations for centuries. The elaborate round pastries symbolize togetherness and are often decorated with designs suggesting longevity or harmony.

Earlier this week, new street signs in English and Chinese were unveiled by the council. The 20 new signs are part of the town hall’s commitment to supporting improvements in the area and building on its distinctive identity.

It follows a well-attended inaugural meeting last week of the new We Love Chinatown group, which aims to bring people together to co-ordinate ideas to drive improvements for both the local community and visitors alike.

Raymond Chan, chairman of the Manchester China Town Business Association, said: “We are delighted to see the Chinese and English street names return to China Town.

“Historically, we had such signs a long time ago and we appreciate the support of Manchester City Council in bringing them back. This year we are also running the Moon Festival with the help of the Chinese community’s younger generation. We look forward to this becoming an annual event.”

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