Chinese New Year: Welcome in the Year of the Rat in Manchester city centre13th Jan 2020
Long weekend of fun, fireworks and good fortune planned across the city to celebrate Chinese New Year.
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.
New Dragon Parade Route
Embarking on a brand-new route for 2020, Manchester’s legendary Dragon Parade takes place on Sunday 26th. The 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.
Starting at 12.30 from outside Manchester Central Library in St Peter’s Square, 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.”
Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester’s city centre spokesperson, said: “Manchester’s Chinese New Year celebrations are always a spectacle to behold, drawing in tens of thousands of people into the city. Manchester has the largest Chinese population in the UK outside of London and we welcome every opportunity for the city to come together as one and celebrate in unity. To all those celebrating I wish you a happy and prosperous New Year.”
Illuminated Dragon Dance
NCP Car Park, Faulkner Street
Friday 24 January @5.30pm, 6.30pm & 7.30pm
Saturday 25 January @ 5.30pm, 6.30pm & 7.30pm
Sunday 26 January @ 5.30pm
New for 2020, a stunning illuminated dragon will light up Chinatown each evening with performances at 5.30pm (Friday – Sunday), and additional performances at 6.30pm & 7.30pm on Friday and Saturday.
The Dragon Parade (New Route for 2020)
Begins outside Manchester Central Library, St Peter’s Square
Sunday 26 January @ 12.30pm
Follow the famous 175ft dragon as it weaves its way through the city’s streets along a new route for 2020’s celebrations. Starting from outside Manchester Central Library in St Peter’s Square, the city’s iconic dragon will be accompanied by traditional lion and ribbon dancers, alongside Chinese opera performers, giant Buddha Dolls and the Chinese Scout parade, as it weaves its way through the city. Look out for 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. And be sure not to miss the fireworks finale at 6pm on Sunday evening.
Giant Golden Dragon
St Ann’s Square
Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 January, 10am – 6pm
Head to St Ann’s Square to catch a glimpse of the 50ft giant, glittering Golden Dragon that has taken up residence for the weekend. Share your pics using #chinesenewyearMCR.
Sunday Funday: Chinese New Year
Manchester Central Library, St Peter’s Square
Sunday 26 January, 12-4pm
Join Manchester Central Library for a celebration of Chinese arts, crafts and culture on one of their exclusive Sunday openings. Families can celebrate the Year of the Rat with Chinese music, art and dance and take part in an afternoon packed full of activities with the Confucius Institute of Manchester University and the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA). Make a badge using images from the CFCCA Archive & Library, take part in an artist-led activity by CFCCA based around personal histories and learn about the Chinese tea ceremony in an exclusive workshop. Get there early to see a fantastic lion dance performance from Manchester Chi Mo Martial Art Centre outside the library just before they open at 12pm.
Chinese New Year: Family Craft Workshops with Manchester Confucius Institute
Exchange Court, Manchester Arndale
Saturday 25 January, 11am-4pm
Manchester Arndale will be transformed into a hive of creative workshops for families as part of Manchester’s Chinese New Year celebrations. Join teachers from Manchester Confucius Institute who will spend the day introducing children and their parents to the Chinese zodiac and Chinese paper folding, then use these newly learnt skills to make your own paper rat. Children can also create and enjoy zodiac wheels and tattoos to welcome the Year of the Rat.
Chinese New Year: Make a Mythical Beast with Joey Yu
Exchange Court, Manchester Arndale
Sunday 26 January, 11am-3pm
Join Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) and artist Joey Yu to reinvent the Chinese New Year practice of making paper dragons and create your own mythical beast to take home with you.
Chinese New Year at CFCCA
Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Market Buildings, Thomas Street
Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 January, 10am – 5pm
Visit Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art over the Chinese New Year weekend to submit your entry in a drawing competition for a chance to win an original drawing by artist Joey Yu and a range of runner-up prizes.
Celebrate the Lunar New Year at Harvey Nichols Manchester
With DJs, special offers and Tarot card consultations, plus there’s 10% off via Alipay
Saturday 25 January, 3-8pm, FREE
Welcome in Chinese New Year with live DJ sets and special offers.
Saturday 1 February, 10am – 6pm
Discover what the Year of the Rat has in store for you – from love and wealth to wellbeing and career progression – with intuitive Tarot Card consultations by The Wellness Foundry.
Tickets £60. To book, click here.
*From 18 January – 2 February 2020. T&Cs apply.
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Notes to Editors
Chinese New Year in Manchester – Organisers and Partners
The annual Chinese New Year celebrations in Manchester are organised in partnership by the Federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester (FCAM), Manchester City Council and Manchester’s Business Improvement District (Manchester BID). The event is supported by Marketing Manchester, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art and Manchester Confucius Institute.
Manchester Business Improvement District (Manchester BID)
BID’s are defined geographical areas where businesses come together to invest in agreed services, initiatives and events. BIDs are financed by an levy based on rateable value.
The Manchester BID, taking in retail district businesses from Market Street to Deansgate, launched in 2013. Since then the BID has masterminded and delivered major events including Dig the City, The King Street Festival and Halloween in the City. The BID has also worked with city partners to upscale and evolve existing events including Chinese New Year, Student Nights with Manchester Arndale, Manchester Pride and Manchester Jazz Festival; bringing in new footfall.
The BID also promotes Manchester city centre to UK and overseas visitors through a partnership with Marketing Manchester, runs a team of tourist information officers, provides city intelligence and offers levy-payers operational and security support.
The BID is managed by CityCo, Manchester’s city centre management company. More information can be found at manchesterbid.com.
Federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester (FCAM)
The Federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester (FCAM) was established in 1992 and is a non-profit making organisation uniting Chinese Associations in and around Manchester. It aims to elevate the social status of ethnic Chinese in mainstream society and functions as a bridge for the exchange of economic and cultural ties between China and the UK.
Every year FCAM organises celebrations around traditional Chinese festivities such as Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day. Through these and other events FCAM raises the understanding and appreciation of Chinese Culture in the UK. More information can be found at www.fcamuk.org