Chinese New Year 2017 in Manchester

Manchester city centre will be welcoming in the Year of the Rooster with its brightest Chinese New Year celebrations to date.

By Matthew Tyas | 11 January 2017

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Manchester city centre will be welcoming in the Year of the Rooster with its brightest Chinese New Year celebrations to date.

The four day celebrations, organised by Manchester’s Business Improvement District (Heart of Manchester BID), FCAM (Federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester) and Manchester City Council, will take place from Thursday 26 January to Sunday 29 January 2017.

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 and subsequently appearing in some of the world’s most iconic locations including Dawes Point, Sydney Harbour (in front of Sydney Opera House), Zagreb Central Square and Prague’s Hradcany Castle, 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 29th.

The city’s streets will once again be 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.

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 and 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 26th – 29th and at Albert Square and Chinatown on the 29th, 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. 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

Jane Sharrocks, Chair of the Heart of Manchester BID (Business Improvement District) and General Manager at Selfridges Exchange Square, said: “Year on year Manchester strives to make its Chinese New Year celebrations bigger and bolder and once again the city has put together a programme that will make Manchester one of the best places in Europe to celebrate.

“Securing The Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors is major coup for the city and a real opportunity for visitors to engage with a breathtaking world-class exhibition.

“Extending the celebrations across the city centre over the last few years has enabled the inclusion of the city’s retailers, and has proved to be a real draw for shoppers, with a wealth of activities and promotions on offer throughout the weekend. Manchester’s partnership with China is growing ever stronger and through the work of the BID, alongside FCAM and Manchester City Council, we’re looking forward to delivering the city’s most innovative and spectacular Chinese New Year festival to date.”

Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester’s city centre spokesman, said: “The Chinese New Year celebrations have become a highlight in the city’s event calendar and the Year of the Rooster will be one to remember. 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 years 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. I would like to say a big thank you to all FCAM’s partners and sponsors including The Heart of Manchester BID, Manchester City Council, The Arts Council, Manchester Airport and Hainan Airlines for their continued hard work, effort and support.”

Commenting on the upcoming celebrations, Sun Jihai, former Manchester City player and current club ambassador to China, said: “Manchester is an exciting city filled with an array of vibrant cultures. I really enjoyed living there when I was playing for Manchester City and have fond memories of how enthusiastically the entire city embraces cultures from all over the world. At Manchester City, we are delighted to be a part of the city’s 2017 Chinese New Year celebrations and to have the opportunity to bring the excitement of football and Chinese culture together.”


The Dragon Parade, Chinatown Celebrations and Fireworks
Albert Square & Chinatown
Sunday 29 January, 12 – 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

The Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors
Exchange Square, outside Corn Exchange
Thursday 26 – Sunday 29 January, 10am – 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 8th 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. Secured by Manchester’s Business Improvement District, the Heart of Manchester BID, for this year’s celebrations, the acclaimed international exhibition was commissioned for the Beijing Olympics and has subsequently appeared in some of the world’s most iconic locations including Sydney Opera House, Zagreb Central Square and Prague’s Hradcany Castle.

Giant Chinese Golden Dragon
Greengate Square, opposite Manchester Cathedral
Thursday 26 – Sunday 29 January, 10am – 8pm
A glittering giant Golden Dragon will take river-side residence in Greengate Square for the long weekend. Share a pic of your encounter with the Dragon using the hashtag #chinesenewyearMCR.


Chinese New Year Street Food Market
St Ann’s Square
Thursday 26 – Sunday 29 January, 11am-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 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 29th.

Manchester’s iconic Cantonese Yang Sing will be celebrating it its 40th 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.

Hilton Manchester
Monday 23 – Sunday 29 January
Transport yourself to the streets of Beijing in a lobby adorned with red lanterns at Hilton Manchester Deansgate. There, you can indulge in three courses of Chinese favourites, such as salt and pepper squid or classic duck spring roll with a sesame, soy and honey dipping sauce, followed by delicious mains including Bok Choy vegetable stir fry and Tempura Kind prawn garlic, chilli and ginger chow mien. If you can stomach a dessert after all that, try the decadent banana fritters in syrup, accompanied by a cup of traditional Chinese tea. Head to the panoramic sky bar, Cloud 23 for a Chinese-inspired cocktail and crack open a fortune cookie to see what surprises 2017 holds. You could even try your hand at the art of calligraphy or Mandarin with exclusive workshops.


Manchester City Football Club
Friday 27 – Sunday 29 January, 10am – 7pm
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.

Live Music Stage
Thursday 26 – Sunday 29 January, 12noon – 6pm
The soundtrack to this year’s celebrations will be provided by local Chinese musicians including Henry Fung, showcasing traditional and contemporary instruments. Saturday’s entertainment will be programmed and curated by Manchester’s Confucius Institute.

Saturday 28 January – Confucius Institute Manchester presents ‘A musical Journey through China’
Confucius Institute Manchester presents a special day of traditional music on Saturday 28 January featuring solo artists playing traditional Chinese instruments including erhu, zither and Chinese guitar alongside traditional Chinese folk music of ethnic minorities such as Mongolian and Tajiks throughout the afternoon.
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.

Travelling Light Circus in collaboration with the Dance Department of Salford University
Friday 27 and Saturday 28 January
Watch out for the roving parade of dancers, drummers, a stiltwalker and an iconic giant Rooster who will be weaving their way through the city’s shopping streets entertaining shoppers and creating a carnival atmosphere. Dressed in red, black and gold the 10-strong troupe will bring a show shopping spectacle to the celebrations.

Lion Dancing
Near Boots
Thursday 26 – Saturday 28 January, on the hour at 1, 2 and 3pm
Catch the lion’s colourful display of Chinese New Year tradition.

Sunday 29 January, 12-4pm
Celebrate the Year of the Rooster at Central Library with musical performances, craft sessions, storytelling and archive exhibitions for all the family. Highlights include Chinese musicians performing on the erhu and the lute, a Chinese tea ceremony, lantern and kite-making craft sessions and face painting.
Free, drop-in.

Market Buildings, 13 Thomas St, Manchester
Chinese New Year at CFCCA
Thursday 26 – Sunday 29 January
Join CFCCA to celebrate the Year of the Rooster through a series of new exhibitions and workshops exploring visual perception and lens based media, featuring a major new commission by artist Suki Chan in the galleries.

Suki Chan: Lucida
Galleries 1 and 2, CFCCA
Thursday 26 January, 6-8pm, continues until 30 April, 10am – 5pm, Tues-Sun
Head to the CFCCA on Thursday 26 January between 6-8pm to catch a first glimpse of this new exhibition by Suki Chan, which weaves together extraordinary images, bio-medical research and individual testimonies, exposing the curious and complex relationship between the human eye, the brain and vision. Open over the Chinese New Year weekend and continues until 30 April.

Totes Amaze: Cyanotype tote bag printing workshop
Saturday 28 January, 1 – 4pm
Jasmine Suite, CFCCA
Drop in to Manchester-based artist Joe Ford’s cyanotype printing workshop at CFCCA for the opportunity to explore this unique and original printing method, designing and printing your own tote bag in the process! Cyanotype is a photographic printing process first discovered in 1842 that produces a cyan blue print which can be used on a variety of materials including paper, fabric and even metal. Joe will be leading a workshop in which you can draw, collage and experiment with the cyanotype technique to create your own unique printed tote bag to celebrate Chinese New Year 2017.
Cost: £4, drop in Suitable for all ages

King Street
Calligraphy Workshops with Manchester Confucius Institute
Saturday 28 January, 12 – 4pm
Virgin Money Lounge will be transformed into a hive of creative traditional Chinese art workshops including Chinese calligraphy and brush painting. Explore the traditional art of writing Chinese characters and learn basic Chinese painting techniques. Workshops are free although voluntary contributions to support the University’s Access Programme are welcomed.

Chinese Film Forum UK Presents: Chinese New Year 2017 + Intro
Wed 25 January 2017 at 6.15pm
To celebrate Lunar New Year 2017, HOME is bringing together some of the finest talents working in contemporary Chinese cinema. This programme of short films is drawn from the Hong King International Film Festival’s ‘Beautiful’ series, which includes work from the likes of Jia Zhangke, Lu Yue, Tsai Ming-Liang and Ann Hui. The screening will be introduced by Andy Willis, Reader in Film Studies at the University of Salford and HOME Film Senior Visiting Curator and is supported by the Confucius Institute at the University of Manchester.


Exchange Court
Family Chinese Arts & Crafts with Manchester Confucius Institute
Badge and Lantern-making
Saturday 28 January, 11am – 5pm
Families can get hands-on at Manchester Arndale’s Chinese New Year creative workshops in conjunction with Manchester Confucius Institute. Children and their parents can explore the traditional art of writing Chinese characters and use their newly learnt skills to make their own personalised paper lanterns and badges. Workshops are free however voluntary contributions to support the University’s Access Programme are welcomed.

Family Chinese Arts & Crafts with the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA)
Your Turn: Wonder Turner workshops
Manchester Arndale, Exchange Court
Sunday 29 January, 11am – 5pm, Free
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’ – 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.


New Cathedral Street
Harvey Nichols and Cathay Pacific Airways are welcoming the new year of the Rooster with a weekend of stylish celebrations instore. Customers can enjoy live DJ sets, complimentary drinks, themed food tastings and exclusive offers – plus, they can be in with a chance of winning a luxury four night trip to Hong Kong including return Business Class flights with Cathay Pacific Airways*. Visitors to the store can also discover the iconic works of grammy-nominated illustrator Stanley Chow in a specially designed pop up exhibition, open from 20 January 2017.
*Terms and conditions apply. See instore for details.

A Window On… Chinese New Year
Selfridges Exchange Square
Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) is partnering with Manchester’s Selfridges Exchange Square, projecting animations by recent exhibiting artists across their store front throughout the Chinese New Year weekend. In-store activity includes Lion Dancers on Thursday 26 January (performances at midday and 3pm), a Selfridges flower cart offering lucky Chinese bouquets on Saturday 28 January (ask instore for full T&C’s), Chinese calligraphy creating personalised cards (28-29 January & 4-5 February), live fashion illustrator Dom&Ink (4-5 February), surprise and delights red envelopes with a variety of treats to be won including beauty treatments and afternoon tea, fragrance bottle painting (28-29 January & 4-5 February) and complimentary engraving and embossing.

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! Offers include £20 off £200 spend and beauty surprises. *Terms and condtions apply.

Thursday 26 January – Sunday 29 January 2017
Manchester city centre
Twitter @CNY_MCR #chinesenewyearMCR