What's happening this 2020 for Chinese New Year?

A long weekend of fun, fireworks and good fortune is planned across the city to celebrate Chinese New Year.

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated 23 January 2020

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This year will see in the Year of the Rat as Manchester plays host to 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 Friday 24th – Sunday 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.

Here’s what to expect…

The New Dragon Parade Route

Embarking on a brand-new route for 2020, Manchester’s legendary Dragon Parade takes place on Sunday 26th, starting at 12.30 from outside Manchester Central Library in St Peter’s Square. Manchester’s 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.

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.


Arts & Crafts, Food & Drink

Credit: Chris Payne

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 Kung fu demonstrations and don’t miss the stunning fireworks finale at 6pm on Sunday evening.


Giant Golden Dragon

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.

St Ann’s Square
Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 January, 10am – 6pm


Illuminated Dragon Dance

New for this year’s celebrations is a FREE spectacular illuminated dragon dance, lighting up Manchester’s Chinatown with performances each evening from Friday – Sunday at the Chinatown NCP Car Park on Faulkner Street.

It’ll be taking place at 5.30pm, 6.30pm and 7.30pm on Friday and Saturday and 5.30pm on Sunday.


Sunday Funday: Chinese New Year

Credit: Carl Sukonik

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.

Manchester Central Library, St Peter’s Square
Sunday 26 January, 12-4pm


Family Craft Workshops with Manchester Confucius Institute

Manchester Arndale will be transformed into a hive of creative workshops for families as part of Manchester’s Chinese New Year celebrations.

Exchange Court, Manchester Arndale
Saturday 25 January, 11am-4pm


Make a Mythical Beast with Joey Yu

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.

Join 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.

Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Market Buildings, Thomas Street
Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 January, 10am – 5pm


Shopping at Harvey Nichols

Celebrate the Lunar New Year at Harvey Nichols Manchester with DJs, special offers and Tarot card consultations, plus there’s 10% off via Alipay*.

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.

Saturday 25 January, 3-8pm

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Live Cooking Demos, FREE Beers, Ping Pong & More at Hatch

Hatch will be celebrating this Chinese New Year this Saturday 25th of January with a number of events, special dishes and giveaways.

On 25th January Hatch will be decorated in traditional Chinese decor, with a selection of traders serving up special dishes, along with a popup prize machine from Tsing Tao Beer, and FREE beer with every main course at FUKU. There will also be ping pong tables, Chinese wine samples from Vin-yard, chances to win a variety of incredible prizes from the independent traders, and a live cooking demo from Hanoi 75 and FUKU taking place on the main stage at 1:30pm.

Saturday 25 January, 12-6pm

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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.”


Chinese New Year, Manchester City Centre
Friday 24th – Sunday 26 January 2020

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