Celebrate Chinese New Year in Manchester

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Image © Chris Payne via Chinese New Year Manchester on Facebook

See in the Year of the Rat in style in Manchester…

Thought the New Year's revelry was already over? You can’t forget about the ever-festive Chinese New Year, which takes place on Saturday 25 January. Manchester is one of our favourite places to celebrate this jubilant celebration, with the city centre and Chinatown coming alive for three-days of fun. Visit the city from 24 - 26 January for a jam-packed weekend of Year of the Rat celebrations.

Watch the Dragon Parade

A glistening, 175ft golden dragon will weave its way through the city on Sunday 26 January, accompanied by a parade of lion and ribbon dancers and a selection of other performers. Catch Chinese opera singers, giant Buddha Dolls and the Chinese Scout parade alongside the eye-catching dragon exhibit. The parade will begin at St Peter Square, following through to Oxford Street and then through to the Chinatown NCP Car Park via Princess Street and Faulkner Street - all great spots to watch the show. Manchester’s streets will be beautifully adorned with traditional red paper lanterns, and the Dragon Parade will surely be a spectacle to enjoy. Alternatively, if you’re not free on the Sunday or don’t want to battle the crowds, you can check out the inflatable dragon from 25 - 26 January in St Ann’s Square.

Catch the Fireworks in Chinatown

Traditionally, fireworks and firecrackers are used to scare off monsters and bad luck as the New Year dawns, so you’ll be sure to find plenty of beautiful fireworks displays take to the city skies across the weekend. The main one of these takes place in Chinatown on Sunday 26, with the show beginning at 6pm at the Chinatown NCP car park. Wrap up warm and be sure to head down a little earlier, where an Illuminated Dragon Dance sets off around the area half an hour before the fireworks begin. This glorious dance will also take place on Friday 24 and Saturday 25, with performances beginning at 5.30pm, 6.30pm and 7.30pm.

See some unforgettable live performances

The city’s Chinatown area will also host a selection of unforgettable live events over the Saturday and Sunday, displaying some of the most beautiful live elements of Chinese culture. From 12.30-5.30pm (5pm on Saturday) you’ll get the chance to see Chinese acrobatics, Kungfu displays, Chinese singing and opera performances, Chinese poetry recitals and much more. The area will also offer heaps of stalls and workshops, along with craft tables and funfairs for kids - a one-stop shop for family fun.

Check out the CFCCA

The Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art will be filled with fun and creative Chinese Spring Festival activities over the course of the weekend - well worth dropping in when passing through the Northern Quarter. Their galleries are free to enter, with plenty to look at on arrival. You can tap into your creative side and submit a Year of the Rat drawing for a chance to win an original drawing by the artist Joey Yu, or you can visit the nearby Arndale Centre to make paper dragons with the artist herself (11am-3pm). Finally, you’ll find plenty of activities for all ages at Manchester’s Central Library, 12-4pm on the Sunday.

Eat some amazing dishes

If you can’t eat delicious Chinese food on Chinese New Year, then when can you? Manchester’s Chinatown (and beyond) offer heaps of delicious Chinese restaurants, ranging from vast buffets to more elaborate gourmet menus. Check out our guide to the best Dim Sum in Manchester, or simply wander around and pick one that takes your fancy! Did anyone say Crispy Duck?