As a sign of wealth, peacefulness, honesty and luck, pigs certainly have a positive presence in Chinese culture. With 2019 being the #YearofthePig, it’s this positive presence that’ll be celebrated across the world and in Manchester for Chinese New Year.
And if you’re wondering how big the celebrations will be in our city, then you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Not only do one-third of all non-EU students in the UK come from China (Higher Education Student Statistics: UK, 2017/18), but Manchester itself has the second largest Chinatown in the entire country. In other words, the celebrations will be huge!
Not sure where to celebrate Chinese New Year in Manchester? Read on to discover everything you need to know for this year’s festivities.
The 2019 Chinese New Year celebrations in Manchester take place from Tuesday 5 February to Sunday 10 February 2019.
Few things sum up Chinese New Year quite so remarkably as a dragon parade and the one taking place in Manchester city centre is set to be spectacular. The vibrant 175-foot dragon will make its way from Albert Square to Chinatown, where an impressive fireworks finale will mark the end of the celebrations.
Where? From Albert Square to Chinatown
When? Sunday 10 February 2019, starting at 12pm
Sporting a shiny coat constructed from thousands of pennies, a giant straw piglet named, well, Piglet, will be bringing good luck to St Ann’s Square (whilst providing the perfect Instagram opportunity).
As well as admiring the penny coat, you’re invited to bring your own pennies and contribute to the piggy banks around the sculpture. All proceeds will go to the Wai Yin Society and The Big Change, with the former dedicated to supporting Chinese individuals in Manchester and the latter helping homeless people into housing.
Where? St Ann’s Square
When? Tuesday 5 February until Sunday 10 February 2019
As a symbol of superiority and wisdom, lions hold great power in Chinese culture. Across the world during Chinese New Year, the lion dance is performed by martial art practitioners to chase away evil spirits from the area. You can witness a carefully-orchestrated lion dance firsthand on Manchester’s Market Street.
Where? Outside Boots, Market Street
When? Sunday 10 February 2019 at 12pm, 1pm and 2pm
The Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) is recognised for bringing the best of Chinese contemporary art to a UK audience and we’re fortunate enough to have its headquarters based in Manchester’s trendy Northern Quarter.
If you’re intrigued by Chinese culture on the internet, then you won’t want to miss Chinternet Ugly - a free group show consisting of artistic works by six leading new media artists. A meme-making workshop will also be taking place at the centre.
Where? Chinese Centre of Contemporary Art, Market Buildings, Thomas Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M4 1EU
When? Tuesday 5 February until Sunday 10 February 2019, 10am-5pm. The meme-making workshop will be taking place on Sunday 10 February 2019, 11am-5pm
As much a form of art as a method of communication, Chinese calligraphy has always been valued as a supreme visual art form in Chinese culture. If you want to brush up on your calligraphy skills, then join the Confucius Institute on Saturday 9 February.
Where? Virgin Money Lounge on King Street
When? Saturday 9 February 2019, 11am-4pm
In traditional Chinese knot making, each knot symbolises a different meaning and is often made with deep red cord to signify good fortune. Whether you’re skilled at tying knots or wish to try this traditional craft for the first time, then head to Selfridges’ accessories department to get those creative juices flowing.
Where? Selfridges, Exchange Square
When? 2/3/9/10 February 2019, 2-6pm (11am-4pm on Sunday)
Whether you’re a pro or a novice, Start Tai Chi’s Tai Chi demonstrations and workshops at the Arndale will be suitable for everyone to enjoy. Professional demonstrations will take place on the hour, whilst free workshops will take place on the half-hour.
Where? The Arndale
When? Thursday 7 February until Sunday 10 February 2019, 11am-5pm
The buzz, the crowds, the smells… there’s something about a street food market that gets people excited and ready to try new dishes that they may not have tried before. This year’s Chinese New Year street food market will be taking place at St Ann’s Square, with the likes of Jade Rabbit, Wallace & Sons and Dim Sum SU providing drool-worthy Chinese treats to the public.
Where? St Ann’s Square
When? Thursday 7 February until Sunday 10 February 2019
If you’d prefer to keep out of the cold and venture away from the street food markets, then there are plenty of Chinese restaurants in Manchester city centre offering special new year menus (or simply their usual exceptional fare).
With countless places to choose from, we’ve whittled down the list to give you a taste of Manchester’s best Chinese eateries.
Rich mango gateaux, oozing custard buns, soft vanilla swiss rolls… Ho’s Bakery is a place to satisfy your sweet tooth and refrain from feeling guilty about it. Although not a restaurant, this popular Chinese bakery is busy at the best of times, so make sure that you grab your pastries early before the festivities are underway.
Where? 56 Faulkner Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 4FH
When? Monday to Sunday, 10.30am-7pm
This popular establishment has been going for almost 60 years, making it the oldest Chinese restaurant in the whole of Manchester. If this isn’t enough proof of why you should eat here, then maybe reading their online menu will convince you...
Where? 33A Cross Street, Manchester M2 1NL
When? 12pm-12am, Sunday to Thursday (12pm-1am, Friday and Saturday)
Located in a striking grade II listed cotton warehouse, Yang Sing has been producing award-winning Chinese cuisine since 1977. For Chinese New Year, they’re offering tickets for £46pp for a special Lunch Banquet, which includes a private lion dance, martial arts demonstration and starters, dim sum, middle courses, a main course and dessert for the meal.
Where? 34 Princess Street, Manchester, M1 4JY
When? Lunch Banquet - Sunday 10 February 2019, starting at 12.30pm
Combining the words ‘tatau’ (meaning to ‘make a mark’) and ‘tattoo’, Tattu has certainly established a good name for itself on the Manchester foodie scene. If you’re looking for a contemporary take on Chinese cuisine, then you may wish to try their £50pp celebratory sharing menu between Sunday 3 February and Saturday 9 February 2019. From honey-glazed baby chicken to a traditional Gift of Oranges dessert, the menu is nothing short of extraordinary.
Where? 3 Hardman Square, Gartside Street, Manchester, M3 3EB
When? Sunday 3 February to Saturday 9 February 2019
Will you be trying out any of the above for Chinese New Year? Do you have your own suggestions? We’d love to hear from you! Get in touch on Twitter.
From all of us at Manchester Apartments, 新年快乐.