What's going on this Chinese New Year 2018 in Manchester

Manchester city centre will be welcoming in the Year of the Dog with a weekend packed full of fun and good fortune as it celebrates Chinese New Year 2018 on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th February.

By Steven Pankhurst | Last updated 9 February 2018

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Thousands of red lanterns will brighten the city’s shopping streets and this year’s festivities will see the popular return of 2017’s 50ft giant glittering Golden Dragon which will take centre stage in St Ann’s Square alongside a Chinese Food Market serving up festive dumplings, steamed buns, dim sum and more.

Festival Events

The Dragon Parade, Chinatown Celebrations & Fireworks
Sunday 18th February, 12 – 6pm
Chinese New Year just wouldn’t be the same without the annual appearance of the city’s spectacular 175ft dragon. Follow The Dragon Parade from Albert Square to Chinatown and leave plenty of time to enjoy traditional lion dancing, street food, Chinese dancing, martial arts, music and acrobatics, a funfair and fantastic fireworks finale.

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 revelers. 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 St Ann’s Square
Friday 16th – Sunday 18th February, 11am – 7pm
Head down to St Ann’s Square to see Manchester’s mesmerising giant Golden Dragon which will be taking centre stage over the Chinese New Year weekend.

Food & Drink

Chinese Street Food Market in St Ann’s Square
Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th 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 sim favourites from some of the city’s best purveyors of Asian food and drink, including British Street Food Awards Winners Dim Sum SU.

Arts & Culture

Chinese New Year Film Festival 2018 @ HOME
Throughout February
To mark the arrival of the Year of the Dog, HOME, Manchester’s centre for international independent film, theatre and art will be celebrating Chinese New Year with partners the Confucius Institute, the University of Manchester and the Chinese Film Forum UK with screenings of the best recent Chinese language films to get the celebrations going with a bang.

HOME will also be hosting ‘NOW: Moving Image by Chinese Contemporary Female Artists’, a programme of contemporary moving image by female artists working across China today. This collaborative programme is striking, beguiling, sometimes disturbing but always rewarding and provides evidence that cultural difference is often much less than we might presume.

The films include performance, pen and ink animation, stop-motion, moving portrait and photographic techniques, blind audio, new media art and experimental digital SFX, documentary and archive footage. Featured artists include Peng Yun, Miao Ying, Ma Qiusha, Hu Xiaoyuan, Chi Jang Yin, Yao Qingmei and Wang NewOne.


Manchester Art Gallery and Central Library celebrate Chinese New Year
Sunday 18th February, 10am – 5pm
Enjoy a rich and vibrant introduction to Chinese art forms by visiting Manchester Art Gallery and Central Library during Chinese New Year. At Manchester Art Gallery, located in the heart of Chinatown, visitors can enjoy traditional Chinese music from musician Henry Fung, Dragon Dancers and thrilling Lion Dancers and create their own Chinese New Year artwork. Then head to Central Library for storytelling, face painting and Chinese dancing.


Free Family Creative Workshops @ Manchester Arndale
Saturday 17th February 11am – 4pm (drop-in)
Manchester Arndale will be transformed into a hive of creative workshops for families in conjunction with The Confucious Institute whose teachers from China will spend the day introducing children and their parents to Chinese cultural activities, including Chinese knot making and Calligraphy. Children will be able to create pin badges and their own knotted bracelet decorated with an animal charm to welcome the Year of the Dog. Booking is not required.

Free Block Printing Workshop @ Manchester Arndale
Sunday 18th February, 11am – 5pm
On Sunday 18 February, the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) will be running free block printing workshops, suitable for all ages at Manchester Arndale. Learn a traditional Chinese technique, which can be re-created at home using household objects. Booking is not required.

Make Some Noise! @ the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art
Saturday 17th February, 2pm – 6pm
An interactive sound workshop using Makey Makey, an electronic invention tool and toy which allows users to connect everyday objects to computer programmes. Aimed at all ages, this workshop allows visitors to explore what a day in you life sounds like by triggering sound through everyday objects. Using daily routine as inspiration, by the end of the workshop attendees will help to create a group sound installation.

Buy Tickets


Retailers across the city centre will be joining in the festivities with a variety of events, promotions and giveaways. At House of Fraser on Deansgate, customers who spend over £100 will receive a free Chinese New Year tote bag, there’s a lucky red envelope giveaway, complimentary fortune cookies, a chance to win Manchester City tickets in partnership with Hainan Airlines and in honour of the Year of the Dog, the Radley dogs will be making a special appearance!

Selfridges Exchange Square has a number of activities in store from Thursday 15th to Sunday 18th February, including personalisation by fashion illustrator Dom & Ink, a Chinese calligrapher and a Chinese knot making station plus a number of branded activities on counter, while Harvey Nichols’ shopping event over Chinese New Year weekend features complimentary drinks, live DJ sets, food and drink tastings, beauty treats, masterclasses and fashion customisation.

For those feeling artistic, there’s a free Dog Origami Puppet-making workshop at Paperchase on St Mary’s Gate on Saturday 17th from 2pm – 3pm and a free traditional Chinese art class with an artist from the University of Manchester from 12-4pm in the Community Room at Virgin Money on King Street.

For more information on Chinese New Year throughout the city you can visit https://www.visitmanchester.com/ideas-and-inspiration/chinese-new-year