Manchester city centre to welcome in the Year of the Rooster with four days of the UK’s brightest celebrations

Manchester city centre will be welcoming in the Year of the Rooster with its brightest Chinese New Year celebrations to date.

The four day celebrations, organised by Manchester’s Business Improvement District (Heart of Manchester BID), FCAM (Federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester) and Manchester City Council, will take place from Thursday 26 January to Sunday 29 January 2017. 

Festivities in the central shopping district, sponsored by Manchester City Football Club and Metrolink and supported by Great Grass, will see acclaimed international art exhibition ‘The Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors’ head to Manchester in a first for the North West.

Originally commissioned for the Beijing Olympics and subsequently appearing in some of the world’s most iconic locations including Dawes Point, Sydney Harbour (in front of Sydney Opera House), Zagreb Central Square and Prague’s Hradcany Castle, the stunning installation comprising 40 two metre high lantern warriors will illuminate the city’s Exchange Square throughout the celebrations.

The ever popular Dragon Parade led by a spectacular 175-foot dragon from Manchester Town Hall, a spectacular fireworks finale and performances from Chinese acrobats and artists direct from Chengdu capital of China’s Sichuan province, lion dancers, music and traditional arts and crafts in Albert Square and Chinatown, will close the long weekend of celebrations on Sunday 29th.

The city’s streets will once again be filled with thousands of traditional red lanterns and the night sky gloriously lit up as prestigious buildings across the city including Manchester Town Hall, House of Fraser, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges join in the celebrations by turning their exteriors red.

Snap a selfie with the 50ft giant glittering Golden Dragon returning this year in its new location at Greengate Square, and keep an eye out for The Travelling Light Circus’ roving parade of dancers, drummers, stiltwalker and iconic giant rooster which will be weaving their way along Deansgate and King Street, entertaining passersby with dancing, drumming and lots of Chinese New Year merriment.

Manchester City Football Club will be celebrating its Chinese connections and bringing a touch of the Etihad Stadium to New Cathedral Street with a pop-up fan zone, including exclusive Manchester City merchandise, games and experiences.

Check out Harvey Nichols pop-up exhibition showcasing the work of grammy-nominated illustrator Stanley Chow alongside live DJ sets, themed tastings and complimentary drinks and nip across New Cathedral Street to Selfridges Exchange Square for more shopping treats including surprise and delight red envelopes offering a variety of prizes, complimentary engraving and embossing, Chinese calligraphy, Lion Dancing, a Selfridges flower cart offering lucky Chinese bouquets and a special art projection show in conjunction with Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) which will illuminate the store front throughout the weekend. House of Fraser on Deansgate will also be handing out red envelopes to customers so head in-store to see what offers and surprises await!

Chinese New Year revellers can sample authentic Chinese fayre from a street food market in St Ann’s Square from the 26th – 29th and at Albert Square and Chinatown on the 29th, enjoy live music, lion dancers, shopping events, film, art and family craft events at a variety of locations across the city centre throughout the celebrations. Even the city’s hotels are celebrating, with Hilton Deansgate offering Chinese-inspired cocktails and menus and exclusive calligraphy and Mandarin workshops.

To celebrate the Year of the Rooster lucky Metrolink passengers can pick up a special Chinese New Year gift in Exchange Square. Head to the Metrolink stand on Saturday 28 January with a valid travel ticket to collect yours. *while stocks last

Jane Sharrocks, Chair of the Heart of Manchester BID (Business Improvement District) and General Manager at Selfridges Exchange Square, said: “Year on year Manchester strives to make its Chinese New Year celebrations bigger and bolder and once again the city has put together a programme that will make Manchester one of the best places in Europe to celebrate.

“Securing The Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors is major coup for the city and a real opportunity for visitors to engage with a breathtaking world-class exhibition. 

“Extending the celebrations across the city centre over the last few years has enabled the inclusion of the city’s retailers, and has proved to be a real draw for shoppers, with a wealth of activities and promotions on offer throughout the weekend. Manchester’s partnership with China is growing ever stronger and through the work of the BID, alongside FCAM and Manchester City Council, we’re looking forward to delivering the city’s most innovative and spectacular Chinese New Year festival to date.”

Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester’s city centre spokesman, said: “The Chinese New Year celebrations have become a highlight in the city’s event calendar and the Year of the Rooster will be one to remember. Manchester has the largest Chinese population in the UK outside of London and we love to opportunity to bring the entire city together in unity and celebrate as one.”

President of the Federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester (FCAM), Mrs Lisa Yam said: The annual Chinese New Year celebrations in Manchester are extremely important to the Chinese community in Manchester and the northwest of England and are always very well attended and supported. 

“This years celebrations are set to be the biggest and best ever and I hope everyone will be able to join us to welcome in the year of the Rooster. I would like to say a big thank you to all FCAM’s partners and sponsors including The Heart of Manchester BID, Manchester City Council, The Arts Council, Manchester Airport and Hainan Airlines for their continued hard work, effort and support.”

Commenting on the upcoming celebrations, Sun Jihai, former Manchester City player and current club ambassador to China, said: “Manchester is an exciting city filled with an array of vibrant cultures. I really enjoyed living there when I was playing for Manchester City and have fond memories of how enthusiastically the entire city embraces cultures from all over the world. At Manchester City, we are delighted to be a part of the city’s 2017 Chinese New Year celebrations and to have the opportunity to bring the excitement of football and Chinese culture together.”

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