Leap into the Year of the Monkey with four days of spectacular celebrations in Manchester city centre
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.
Programme highlights include:
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
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.
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.
Manchester Arndale Family Craft Workshops – with the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) and Confucius Institute.
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.
Jane Sharrocks, Chair of the Heart of Manchester BID (Business Improvement District) and General Manager at Selfridges Exchange Square, said: “This year’s Chinese New Year programme is the most diverse and innovative line-up the city has seen to date. By working collaboratively with a host of organisations and cultural venues we’re looking forward to a fantastic range of events. Manchester’s four day spectacular will make it one of the best places in Europe to welcome in the Year of the Monkey.”
Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester’s city centre spokesman, said: “Manchester’s Chinese New Year celebrations get bigger and better every year, drawing tens of thousands of visitors into the city centre.
“With direct flights soon connecting Manchester with Beijing, and ever closer links between ourselves and China, the Year of The Monkey is set to be one to remember – and the festivities welcoming in the New Year will celebrate everything that is great about our city and its Chinese community.”
President of the Federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester (FCAM), Mr Stewart Yip said: “FCAM is proud to work in partnership with The Heart of Manchester Business Improvement District on this event to both enrich the culture and bring business opportunities to Manchester. A lot of preparation and effort will be taken again 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.
“This year is the Year of the Golden Monkey, an auspicious year of great fortune and opportunity and I take this opportunity in wishing the people of Manchester and Greater Manchester a very prosperous Chinese New Year and hope many will turn up to enjoy the joyful entertainments FCAM has put together for them.”
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