4 Days Of Incredible Events Are Planned In Manchester This Week For Chinese New Year

We're welcoming the Year of the Rooster

Dragon Manchester

Details of one of the biggest parties in the Manchester calendar has been revealed, with the announcement of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

The city will be welcoming in the Year of the Rooster over four days of events running from Thursday January 26 to Sunday January 29.

From giant lantern illuminations to international art exhibitions, the array of amazing feats will culminate in the famed Dragon Parade from the town hall.

Festivities in the central shopping district, sponsored by Manchester City Football Club and Metrolink and supported by Great Grass, will see acclaimed international art exhibition ‘The Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors’ head to Manchester in a first for the North West.

Originally commissioned for the Beijing Olympics, the stunning installation comprising 40 two-metre high lantern warriors will illuminate the city’s Exchange Square throughout the celebrations.

The ever popular Dragon Parade led by a spectacular 175-foot dragon from Manchester Town Hall, a spectacular fireworks finale and performances from Chinese acrobats and artists direct from Chengdu capital of China’s Sichuan province, lion dancers, music and traditional arts and crafts in Albert Square and Chinatown, will close the long weekend of celebrations on Sunday January 29.

Organised by Manchester’s Business Improvement District (Heart of Manchester BID), FCAM (Federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester) and Manchester City Council, events will see the city’s streets once again filled with thousands of traditional red lanterns and the night sky gloriously lit up as prestigious buildings across the city including Manchester Town Hall, House of Fraser, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges join in the celebrations by turning their exteriors red.

Snap a selfie with the 50ft giant glittering Golden Dragon returning this year in its new location at Greengate Square, and keep an eye out for The Travelling Light Circus’ roving parade of dancers, drummers, stiltwalker and iconic giant rooster which will be weaving their way along Deansgate and King Street, entertaining passersby with dancing, drumming and lots of Chinese New Year merriment.

Manchester City Football Club will be celebrating its Chinese connections and bringing a touch of the Etihad Stadium to New Cathedral Street with a pop-up fan zone, including exclusive Manchester City merchandise, games and experiences.

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Check out Harvey Nichols' pop-up exhibition showcasing the work of grammy-nominated illustrator Stanley Chow alongside live DJ sets, themed tastings and complimentary drinks.

Or nip across New Cathedral Street to Selfridges Exchange Square for more shopping treats including surprise and delight red envelopes offering a variety of prizes, complimentary engraving and embossing, Chinese calligraphy, Lion Dancing, a Selfridges flower cart offering lucky Chinese bouquets and a special art projection show in conjunction with Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) which will illuminate the store front throughout the weekend.

House of Fraser on Deansgate will also be handing out red envelopes to customers so head in-store to see what offers and surprises await!

Chinese New Year revellers can sample authentic Chinese fayre from a street food market in St Ann’s Square from the 26 th – 29 th and at Albert Square and Chinatown on the 29 th , enjoy live music, lion dancers, shopping events, film, art and family craft events at a variety of locations across the city centre throughout the celebrations. 

Golden Dragon

Even the city’s hotels are celebrating, with Hilton Deansgate offering Chinese-inspired cocktails and menus and exclusive calligraphy and Mandarin workshops.

To celebrate the Year of the Rooster lucky Metrolink passengers can pick up a special Chinese New Year gift in Exchange Square. Head to the Metrolink stand on Saturday 28 January with a valid travel ticket to collect yours. *while stocks last

Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester's city centre spokesman, said: “Manchester has the largest Chinese population in the UK outside of London and we love to opportunity to bring the entire city together in unity and celebrate as one.”

President of the Federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester (FCAM), Mrs Lisa Yam said: “The annual Chinese New Year celebrations in Manchester are extremely important to the Chinese community in Manchester and the northwest of England and are always very well attended and supported.

“This year's celebrations are set to be the biggest and best ever and I hope everyone will be able to join us to welcome in the year of the Rooster.”

For a full rundown of events, visit the website here.

Here are our five picks not to be missed...

The Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors

Exchange Square daily between 10am and 9pm

Walk amongst The Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors – a collection of 40 lantern warriors inspired by the the famous ‘terracotta army’ accidently uncovered in 1974 in the tomb of China’s First Emperor and widely regarded as the eighth Wonder of the Ancient World.

Artist Xia Nan’s brightly coloured lanterns, which stand at more than two metres tall, bring together two key features of Chinese art and culture - the compelling story of the Terracotta Army alongside the 2000 year old tradition of lantern-making.

Live Music Stage

St Ann's Square, daily between 12noon and 6pm

The soundtrack to this year’s celebrations will be provided by local Chinese musicians including Henry Fung, showcasing traditional and contemporary instruments like the erhu in the video above. Saturday’s entertainment will be programmed and curated by Manchester’s Confucius Institute.

St Ann’s Church will also host The University of Manchester’s chamber choir Ad Solem, who will perform three special pieces of music commemorating the institute’s 10th anniversary as well as other traditional Chinese New Year songs.

Street Food Market

St Ann’s Square daily between 11am and 7pm

A red, richly draped marquee in St Ann’s Square will host some of the city’s best Chinese food and drink purveyors including Yang Sang, Dim Sum Su, Rice Bowl, Mei Mei’s Street Cart, as seen in the video above, and Tampopo who will be serving up a mouth watering collection of traditional festive dumplings, steamed buns (Gau Bau), Chinese street food dish (Jianbing) and dim sum favourites.

A mouthwatering array of street food alongside stalls offering traditional Chinese goods will also be available in Chinatown and Albert Square on Sunday.

Manchester’s iconic Cantonese Yang Sing will be celebrating it its 40 th year and the Year of the Rooster in 2017 with a whole host of activities including dim sum making workshops, competitions and prize giveaways focused on family, friends and of course food.


The Manchester Confucius Institute is running a Calligraphy Workshop on a drop-in basis from 12 noon to 4pm on Saturday January 28 at the Virgin Money Lounge on King Street.

The lounge will be transformed into a hive of creative traditional Chinese art workshops including brush painting. Workshops are free although voluntary contributions to support the University’s Access Programme are welcomed.

There are also Family Chinese Arts & Crafts with the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art at the Manchester Arndale on Sunday 29 January from 11am until 5pm.

Bring the family to the CFCCA’s free public art workshop which responds to the themes of visual perception apparent in Suki Chan’s new exhibition, Lucida.

Using the 2017 Chinese Zodiac animal the Rooster, the CFCCA will be creating ‘Wonder Turners’ as seen in the video above - optical toys popular in the 19th century made using a disk with a picture on each side which is attached to two pieces of string.

In the same venue, artist Joe Ford will be running a cyanotype tote bag printing workshop.

Dragon Parade, Chinatown Celebrations and Fireworks

Albert Square and Chinatown on Sunday January 29 from 12 noon until 6pm

Following The Dragon Parade led by a spectacular 175-foot dragon from Manchester Town Hall, head to Albert Square and Chinatown, where you’ll find traditional lion dances, street food, two stages for Chinese dancing, music and acrobatics, Chinese arts and crafts, a funfair and fantastic fireworks finale.

  • 12pm: Dragon and music performances, Albert Square
  • 1pm: The Dragon Parade, Albert Square to Chinatown
  • 12pm – 5pm: Chinese Arts & Crafts, Albert Square
  • 1.30pm – 5pm: Stage shows, Chinatown and Albert Square
  • 2pm– 5pm: The Lion and the Unicorn with firecrackers, Chinatown
  • 12pm – 8pm: Chinese Market, Albert Square and Chinatown
  • 12pm – 8pm: Funfair, Chinatown
  • 6pm: Fireworks, Chinatown

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Written By

Kirstie McCrum

Chatty horror movie buff with a love for languages and puppies. Manchester blow-in who loves the city completely.