Head to Manchester to see in the Year of the Rat at one of Europe’s biggest Chinese New Year celebrations.
Organised by the Federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester (FCAM), Manchester City Council and Manchester’s Business Improvement District (Manchester BID) this year’s celebrations will take place from 24 – 26 January. Enjoy a long weekend packed full of fun and fortune featuring Manchester’s famous red lanterns, a glittering golden dragon, live performances and the city’s legendary Dragon Parade and fireworks finale. There’s also free family-friendly workshops and events at a variety of venues including Manchester Central Library, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Arndale and the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA), along with themed product showcases at many city centre shops.
New for this year’s celebrations is a spectacular illuminated dragon dance, lighting up Manchester’s Chinatown with performances each evening from Friday – Sunday at 5.30pm, with additional performances at 6.30pm & 7.30pm on Friday and Saturday.
Embarking on a brand-new route for 2020, Manchester’s legendary Dragon Parade takes place on Sunday 26th, starting at 12.30 from outside Manchester Central Library in St Peter’s Square. Manchester’s iconic 175ft dragon will be accompanied by lion and ribbon dancers, Chinese opera performers, giant Buddha dolls and the Chinese Scout parade as it weaves its way through the city’s streets. Follow the dragon as it makes its way from St Peter’s Square down Peter Street to Oxford Street onto Portland Street before heading down Princess Street and into the heart of Chinatown for 2pm.
Celebrations in Chinatown will be bigger than ever, extending across all three days from 12-8pm on Friday and Saturday and 11am-8pm on Sunday. Visitors can try their hand at Chinese arts & crafts, sample traditional Chinese cuisine from food and drink stalls and enjoy a ride on the funfair. On Saturday and Sunday head to the stage on Faulkner Street from 12-5pm and enjoy performances from lion dancers, acrobats, singers and dancers, alongside Chinese poem reading and Kungfu demonstrations and don’t miss the stunning fireworks finale at 6pm on Sunday evening.
Thousands of stunning red lanterns will once again adorn the streets and Manchester’s 50ft glittering golden dragon will make a welcome return to St Ann’s Square, ready for snaps and selfies. Share yours using #ChineseNewYearMCR.
Jane Sharrocks, Chair of Manchester’s Business Improvement District, Manchester BID and General Manager at Selfridges Exchange Square, said: “Chinese New Year is an established highlight of Manchester’s annual events calendar and is certainly one of the UK’s biggest and brightest cultural festivals. Manchester Business Improvement District is a network of city centre retailers and we’re delighted to be continuing our partnership with Manchester City Council, FCAM and Marketing Manchester to host the celebrations again this year.”
Lisa Yam, President of the Federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester (FCAM) said:
“Chinese New Year has always been the most important and cheerful festival within Chinese culture and I hope that the whole community in Manchester will take this opportunity to come together to celebrate the New Year of the Rat. This year we have an extended three day celebration in Chinatown NCP carpark which will include food stalls and entertainment. Our spectacular new Night Dragon will also be making several appearances from 5:30pm each evening.”