Home to the second-largest Chinatown in the UK, Manchester is easily the best place to celebrate the upcoming Lunar New Year this year and welcome in the Year of the Tiger in style. Running from the 1st to the 6th of February, Chinatown is hosting a number of events specifically for those celebrating the new year, so here are our top picks that we’re pretty sure you’ll enjoy.
The Illuminated Dragon
On the 6th of February at every hour between 4 – 7pm, the Illuminated Dragon visits Chinatown which is a truly unique sight for every viewer and is one to visit if you’ve never had the opportunity. In addition, throughout the day from 11am-7pm there’s a huge variety of events happening, including traditional lion dances, Chinese acrobatics, singing, poem reading, and even kung fu. What’s more, it’s free to attend and is always a big hit within the city – being proudly celebrated every year.
Lunar New Year at the Portico Library
Over the weekend on the 5th and 6th of February, the Portico Library is presenting a Lunar New Year exhibit. With collections of rare 19th-century books that hold illustrations of the Chinese culture, 200-year-old maps of Manchester’s Chinatown, and free creative activities, there are plenty of options to celebrate the new year for everyone. Running from 11-3pm with free entry, this event is perfect for those wanting to learn more about the cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year.
Tiger Sculpture at St Ann's Square
Every year, there is a sculpture displayed at St Ann’s Square to signify the animal of the year on the Chinese calendar, and with this year being the Year of the Tiger, from the 1st to the 6th of February there will be a glorious tiger statue put up in celebration. St Ann's Square is notorious for being home to various sorts of wonderful sculptures over the years, and this one will be no exception.
Mandarin Starter Classes
Hosted by the University of Manchester’s Confucius Institute on the 19th and 22nd of February, visitors will have the opportunity to begin learning Mandarin for free (yes you read that right!). While these are just starter classes, they will be incredibly helpful and typically come at a price, so this is a great opportunity to learn some of the basics and provide you with a good base to learn more in the future. Who doesn’t like the idea of speaking another language, after all?
Chinese Film Forum Movie Screenings at HOME
The Chinese Film Forum UK is a Manchester-based network that focuses on researching and promoting transnational Chinese cinema. On the 3rd of February during the Lunar New Year, there is a screening of ‘One Second Champion’ at HOME. A solo directorial effort by Chiu Sin-Hang, One Second Champion features as his take on the traditional boxing storyline that we’ve all seen before but with an interesting blend of fantasy – one not to be missed.
There are a huge variety of events to visit over the Lunar New Year, and we can’t wait to experience them. What are you looking forward to most? Have we missed anything that you’re planning to attend? Let us know on socials and tag us in anything that we should check out.