Leap into the Year of the Monkey with four days of celebrations in Manchester

Manchester city centre is to host its biggest and brightest Chinese New Year celebrations to date to welcome in the Year of the Monkey, according to plans revealed today by the Heart of Manchester BID (Business Improvement District), FCAM (Federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester) and Manchester City Council.

By Steven Pankhurst | January 8th '16

Manchester city centre is to host its biggest and brightest Chinese New Year celebrations to date to welcome in the Year of the Monkey, according to plans revealed today by the Heart of Manchester BID (Business Improvement District), FCAM (Federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester) and Manchester City Council.

Offering the biggest Chinese New Year party outside of London, this year’s celebrations (Thursday 4 – Sunday 7 February), headline sponsored by Hainan Airlines and Manchester Airport, will see new attractions across the city centre including a 50ft Giant Golden Dragon in Exchange Square, live street art by graffiti artists from Hong Kong, a Tsingtao Beer Ping Pong Bar and premium Asian Street Food Village on New Cathedral Street.

Thousands of red lanterns will decorate the shopping streets, while last year’s stunning New Year Light Show featuring a giant twisting snake and thousands of ascending lanterns will return to illuminate St Ann’s Church.

Live music and lion dancing, ‘A Taste of China’ food market in St Ann’s Square, shopping events and the famous Dragon Parade and fireworks finale in Albert Square and Chinatown complete the incredible line-up.

2016 also marks the 30 year anniversary of the city’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art and will see the CFCCA collaborate with 30 prestigious artists, curators and academics who have contributed to the organisation, to produce an ambitious high-profile programme launching on February 4th.

There is also a chance to win a week holiday for two in Beijing, flying Business Class, courtesy of Hainan Airlines, by visiting www.chinesenewyearmcr.com.

The leading Chinese airline will be launching a direct route from Manchester to Beijing on 10th June 2016. The prize includes one pair of Business Class flights, accommodation and transfers and can be taken between 10th June 2016 and 31st December 2017. Terms and conditions apply.

For the full what’s on listings go to www.chinesenewyearmcr.com

Follow event updates on Twitter @CNY_MCR #chinesenewyearMCR

 

Programme highlights include:

MUST-SEE EVENTS:

New Year Light Show
St Ann’s Church, St Ann’s Square
Thursday 4th – Saturday 6th, 6 – 9pm

The façade of St Ann’s Church will be brought to spectacular life on three consecutive evenings via a mix of stunning light projections, art and film including the ‘Year of The Monkey’ artwork, created by Manchester artist Stanley Chow. See the animated story of Chinese New Year in an unforgettable projection mapped, audio-visual experience.

The Dragon Parade, Chinatown Celebrations and Fireworks
Albert Square & Chinatown
Sunday 7th February, 12 – 6pm

Follow the Chinese New Year Parade led by a spectacular 175-foot dragon from Albert Square to Chinatown, where you’ll find traditional lion dances, street food, two stages for Chinese dancing, music and acrobatics, a funfair and fantastic fireworks finale.

12pm : Dragon and music performances, Albert Square
1pm : The Dragon Parade, Albert Square
2 pm – 5pm : Stage shows, Chinatown
6pm : Fireworks, Chinatown

FOOD AND DRINK:

Asian Street Food Village
New Cathedral Street
Thursday 4th – Saturday 6th, 11am – 7pm

Asian flavours can be found on New Cathedral Street where some of the city’s finest vendors including The Hungry Gecko and Yo Sushi! will be serving up from a range of colourful street food carts.

‘A Taste of China’ – Chinese Food Market
St Ann’s Square
Thursday 4th – Saturday 6th, 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 Sing and Rice Bowl.

Tsingtao Beer Ping Pong Bar
New Cathedral Street
Thursday 4th – Saturday 6th, 11am – 8pm

The world’s favourite Chinese beer will be opening the doors on a unique pop-up bar featuring the challenge of the Tsingtao Dragon (Ping Pong robot) and the opportunity to win a range of prizes from t-shirts to Ping Pong tables.

ART, CULTURE & MUSIC:

Giant Chinese Golden Dragon
Exchange Square
Thursday 4th – Saturday 6th, 10am – 8pm

A glittering giant Golden Dragon will take residence in Exchange Square throughout the festival. Share a pic of your encounter with the Dragon using the hashtag #chinesenewyearMCR. The best snap will win £500 to spend in the shops at Manchester Airport on the way to your next holiday.

Parkour Monkey Runners
Market Street to Exchange Square
Thursday 4th February, 4 – 7pm

Evolve Manchester will turn the city into their jungle gym as they show off parkour street running skills. Witness acrobatic skills and daring stunts alongside street dance.

RareKind China – Live Street Art Exhibition
Selfridges, New Cathedral Street, House of Fraser
Thursday 4th – Saturday 6th

Vibrant, large-scale graffiti will splash the streets with colour as RareKind China artists Rainbo (China Graffiti Girls) and Uncle (Afterworkshop) reflect the story of Chinese New Year. The Hong Kong artists are travelling to Manchester to create their artwork as part of the CFCCA’s 30 Year celebrations. Selfridges will showcase projected animations of Rainbo and Uncle’s street art designs in their Exchange Square shop front.

Live Music Stage
St Ann’s Square
Thursday 4th – Saturday 6th, 12 noon – 7pm

The soundtrack to this year’s celebrations will be provided by local Chinese musicians including Ling Ling and Henry Fung, showcasing traditional and contemporary instruments. Saturday’s entertainment will be programmed and curated by Manchester’s Confucius Institute.

Lion Dancers
Exchange Square to King Street
Thursday 4th – Saturday 6th, 1 – 5pm

Catch the Lion Dancers as they move through the shopping streets in a colourful display of Chinese New Year tradition.

FAMILIES:

Manchester Arndale Family Craft Workshops – with the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) and Confucius Institute.
Manchester Arndale
Saturday 6th, 12 noon – 6pm

Manchester Arndale will be transformed into a hive of creative workshops for families. Manchester’s Confucius Institute will explore calligraphy and paper folding and using their newly learnt skills, children will be able to make their own New Year cards. The Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) will bring us right up-to-date with Emoji workshops responding to ideas from artist Xu Bing’s Book from the Ground. Working with paper and card, families can create their own speech bubbles and slogans, using only a range of symbols and emoticons.

Make your own Monkey Masks and Bunting
Paperchase, St Mary’s Gate
Saturday 6th, 11am – 4pm

Make your own monkey mask using Paperchase’s extensive range of craft products, then celebrate the Year of the Monkey by wearing it to the new year parade. 11am – 1pm, £10 per person. Or create your own handmade bunting and celebrate Chinese New Year in style from 2 – 4pm, £10 per person.