What’s going on this Chinese New Year 2019 in Manchester

The city centre will be welcoming in the Year of the Pig with one of Europe’s biggest Chinese New Year celebrations from Tuesday 5th - Sunday 10th February 2019.

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated 5 February 2019

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This year’s city-wide event offers four days filled with food, fortune, fireworks and fun alongside a whole host of free activities for all the family to enjoy. Here’s what’s on offer…

Festival Events

The Dragon Parade, Chinatown Celebrations & Fireworks
Sunday 10th February, 12 – 7pm
Chinese New Year just wouldn’t be the same without the annual appearance of the city’s dazzling 175ft dragon. Follow the Dragon Parade from Albert Square to Chinatown and leave plenty of time to enjoy traditional lion dancing, unicorn performances, Chinese dancers, a funfair, traditional street food stalls, Chinese arts and crafts and a spectacular fireworks finale at 7pm.

Full timetable:

12pm – 1pm
Martial arts, dance displays and the Dragon appears outside the Town Hall in Albert Square.

The Dragon Parade from the Town Hall to Chinatown.

The Dragon arrives in Chinatown to firecrackers and New Year addresses from Chinese community leaders.

2pm – 5pm
The Lion and Unicorn visit and bless Chinatown’s businesses and revellers. Enjoy the funfair and spectacular Chinese acrobatics, dancing and music alongside over 60 food, arts and crafts stalls.

Fireworks finale in Chinatown.


Glittering Golden Dragon in Exchange Square
Thursday 7th – Sunday 10th February
Thousands of stunning red lanterns will once again adorn the city’s streets, landmarks and iconic buildings will be lit up red and Manchester’s infamous 50ft giant glittering Golden Dragon will be making a welcome return to the city’s Exchange Square, ready for snaps and selfies.


Penny Coin Piglet in St Ann’s Square
In honour of the Year of the Pig, giant art installation Piglet will be taking centre stage in the city’s St Ann’s Square. Created by UK-artist Alex Rinsler (previous works include giant foxes in Shanghai & London and the world’s largest squirrel in Almaty, Kazakhstan), the giant piglet will don a handsome coat made from thousands of pennies for good luck.

Visitors will be invited to contribute their own pennies to piggy banks around the sculpture, with proceeds going to The Big Change, and the Wai Yin Society, working with Manchester’s most vulnerable residents.


Food & Drink

Chinese Street Food Market
Thursday 7th & Sunday 10th February, 11am – 7pm
Head to the colourful stalls in St Ann’s Square and enjoy a selection of traditional festive dumplings, steamed buns and dim sum favourites from some of the city’s best purveyors of Asian food and drink, including Dim Sum Su, Jade Rabbit and Wallace & Sons.


Lucky Red Letter Cocktail at Tattu
Tattu have launched a special Chinese New Year Cocktail complete with a good fortune Red Letter which could contain a bottle of champagne, 50% off your next Tattu experience or even a £100 gift voucher. The cocktail is the perfect blend of Mescal San Cosme, Beefeater Gin, Vanilla, Apple and Pomegranate and Chilli infused syrup!

Book A Table

Chinese New Year at The Ivy Asia
The Ivy Asia is looking to become Manchester’s ultimate Chinese New Year destination with a collection of spectacular (and lucky) red Chinese umbrellas unfolded to create a beautiful installation as you enter the lavish space. Throughout the Chinese New Year celebration, a range of brand-new cocktails will be available, each named after the five pigs in the Chinese Zodiac – metal, water, wood, fire and earth.

Book A Table


Arts & Culture

CFCCA Chinese New Year
To celebrate the Year of the Pig, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art will be hosting a wealth of activities for all the family. Taking inspiration from its ‘Chinternet Ugly‘ exhibition, you can explore fun and exciting ways to engage with online art and digital technologies, alongside some more traditional Chinese crafts and workshops.

Learn Calligraphy and Brush Painting with Confucius Institute
Saturday 9 February, 11am – 4pm
Join Manchester’s Confucius Institute at the Virgin Money Lounge on King Street to explore the traditional art of writing Chinese characters and learn basic Chinese painting techniques.



Celebrate Chinese New Year @ Harvey Nichols
Saturday 9th February, 9am-7pm
Welcome the Year of the Pig at Harvey Nichols, with a weekend of stylish celebrations. Enjoy beauty treats, live DJ sets, free-flowing drinks and complimentary tastings.

Chinese New Year events @ Selfridges
With complimentary gifts, customisations and traditional Chinese crafts, head to Selfridges Exchange Square to celebrate the Year of the Pig. From 30th January – 7th February, the Beauty Hall will be celebrating Chinese New Year with complimentary red lip makeovers with a matching red luxury manicure and a 2.5ml fragrance at Louboutin Beauty alongside complimentary personalised leather cases for every purchase from Atelier Cologne.


Family Events

Tai Chi Demonstrations & Workshops @ Manchester Arndale
Thursday 7th – Sunday 10th February, 11am – 5pm
Try your hand at the traditional practice of Tai Chi, with professional demonstrations on the hour and free workshops on the half hour.

Family Workshops with Confucius Institute @ Manchester Arndale
Saturday 9th February, 11am – 5pm
Join Manchester’s Confucius Institute and teachers from China and learn all about the traditional Chinese art of paper-cutting. Children will create their own Chinese New Year Pig shaped fan as they learn about the characteristics of this year’s zodiac animal.

Make a Meme with CFCCA @ Manchester Arndale
Sunday 10 February, 11am – 5pm
Create your own ‘meme’ with CFCCA for Chinese New Year. Inspired by its current exhibition ‘Chinternet Ugly’ this workshop, led by experienced practitioners, will help you use traditional craft techniques such as printing and calligraphy to create a meme you can take home with you. Adults and Families (ages 3+).

Chinese New Year celebrations @ Manchester Art Gallery
Sunday 10th February
Join Manchester Art Gallery to celebrate the Year of the Pig with a range of artists and Chinese performers. With a range of activities suitable for families, take part in a Tai Chi class, decorate Chinese cupcakes and cookies, listen to traditional Chinese Erhu music, make shadow puppets or life draw from beautiful Chinese dancers.

For more information on Chinese New Year throughout the city you can visit