MANCHESTER will welcome in 2015's Year of the Ram with what is expected to be one the city's biggest and most colourful Chinese New Year celebrations to date.
“Over 90,000 people experienced Manchester’s Chinese New Year celebrations last year"
Thousands of red lanterns will adorn the city in the weeks leading up to the celebrations from Thursday 19 to 22 February. The festivities will include a light shows, a Chinese street food market, music, film, martial arts and the increasingly popular Dragon Parade and fireworks finale.
Organised by Federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester (FCAM), the Heart of Manchester BID and Manchester City Council, with the support of Manchester Chinatown, the celebrations will showcase a variety of contemporary and traditional Chinese culture.
Jane Sharrocks, Chair of the Heart of Manchester BID and General Manager at Selfridges Exchange Square said: “Over 90,000 people experienced Manchester’s Chinese New Year celebrations last year proving what a popular event it is in the city centre calendar.
"This year, the BID, working together with key partners including FCAM and Manchester City Council will deliver the biggest celebrations Manchester has seen to date. This spectacular four-day event will be one of the best places to celebrate Chinese New Year in Europe.”
President of the Federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester (FCAM), Mr Stewart Yip said: “The year of the Ram is the peaceful and orderly animal seen by the Chinese as luck and harmony.
"A lot of planning, preparation and efforts will be taken to make this year's celebrations a week full of fun and excitement in Chinatown and across Manchester city centre.
"The event will be a testament to the success of a multi-cultural society in which people of different cultural backgrounds work together and enrich each other to achieve unity and joyous celebration."
Highlights this year include:
Chinese Food Market | St Ann’s Square | Thursday 19 - 22 February
Food is one of the fundamental aspects of Chinese New Year, bringing families together to enjoy traditional fayre and this year Manchester city centre is no exception. St Ann’s Square will be hosting a Chinese food market from 19 – 22 February featuring some of the finest food directly from Chinatown including Yang Sing, I am Pho and Pearl City. Guests can relax in the sumptuous red-draped marquee and soak up the atmosphere with traditional music and décor.
Dragon Parade and Firework Display | Albert Square and Chinatown | 22 February | 12 - 6pm
At midday on Sunday 22 February, Albert Square will come alive with martial arts and dance displays followed by the Dragon’s dramatic appearance at 12.30pm outside the Town Hall. From 1pm follow the magnificent Dragon Parade through the city’s streets to Chinatown’s NCP car park where it will be greeted with firecrackers and New Year addresses from the Chinese Consul-General of Manchester, the Lord Mayor of Manchester and community leaders. In Chinatown, you’ll find traditional lion dancers, martial arts displays, spectacular Chinese acrobatics, arts and crafts, workshops and a funfair with over 20 rides on Charlotte Street - culminating in the spectacular fireworks finale at 6pm.
From 11am – 5pm, Chinatown and Albert Square will host over 60 stalls offering a variety of gifts, arts and crafts and a variety of food.
Shopping | Various venues | Thursday 19 February
To mark the new year tradition of the giving and receiving of red envelopes, Manchester shoppers will have the chance to win a share of £10,000*. Head to St Ann’s Square on Thursday 19 February to collect your special red envelope, containing a share of the huge prize to spend in one of eight lucky city centre shops including Manchester Arndale, Harvey Nichols, House of Fraser, Selfridges, Boots and Cath Kidston.
*prize value from gift vouchers and experiences redeemable in specified stores only. Terms and conditions will apply. Envelopes will be handed out from Thursday 19 as long as stocks last.
Arts and Culture | St Ann's Church & Manchester Art Gallery | Thursday 19 - 21 February
From Thursday 19- Saturday 21 February, St Ann’s Church will provide the backdrop to a spectacular series of large-scale light, art and film projections each evening from 6pm – 10pm.
Join Manchester Art Gallery to celebrate Chinese New Year 2015 with traditional Chinese dance, music and storytelling on Sunday 22 February from 12pm-4pm. There will also be a drop-in creative workshop; 'Chop Chop, Stick Sticks' where you can customise your own wooden chopsticks.
Film | The Cornerhouse | Mon 16 February | 5:30pm
The Chinese Film Forum UK will be showing The Golden Era (CBTA) (Huang Jin Shi Dai) - The life story of Xiao Hong, one of China's most famous essayists and novelists, who reflected the progressive thinking not frequently seen during the 1930s.
Family Events | St Ann's Square | Thu 19 - Sun 22
In St Ann’s Square, a variety of family workshops are being hosted by the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) and Manchester Confucius Institute with contemporary themes including Bangin’ Paper Fireworks with artist Naomi Kashiwagi and Be Ewe with artist Pui Lee. There will also be workshops using a variety of traditional Chinese arts.
The streets of Manchester will also serve as a stage for The Legend of Nian: A Circus Caravan – a travelling theatre performance of the mythical Chinese tale. Performances will take place daily from Thursday 19 – Saturday 21 February between 12pm – 4pm and will roam from New Cathedral St, Market St, King St, St Ann’s Square and Exchange Square. The fire and light show will take place daily between 5.30pm – 8pm.
Tai Chi | Manchester Arndale | Friday 20 February | 2- 3pm
Manchester Arndale is to play host to Tai Chi demonstrations including 30 minute public classes at 2pm and 3pm. Jin Long Chinese Martial Arts Academy will also deliver a number of traditional Chinese performances across the city centre, from northern lion dance to Kung Fu and jar juggling between 12pm – 3:30pm at Manchester Arndale and across Market Street, St Ann’s Square, New Cathedral Street and King Street.
For the full line-up and schedule see www.chinesenewyearmcr.com
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