Chinese New Year falls on my birthday this year which has conveniently created a whole load of things for me to eat and watch (and watch whilst eating). Manchester (which has the second largest Chinatown in the UK – a post on the rich history of this area coming soon!) has a whole weekend of events to celebrate so from nipping out at lunchbreaks to a whole weekend free – there’s something for everyone. Sooo… happy birthday to me and happy new year to you! Here are some things I’ll be doing.
New Year Light Show – Thursday 4th, St Ann’s Church
It’s a staple area in any festival in the city these, and it’s not hard to see why. St Ann’s Church will provide a beautiful backdrop for a stunning visual-audio experience to start the weekend’s festivities. Bring a pair of gloves and a cup of tea, and watch this Grade I listed building (built in 1712) come to life at 6pm.
RareKind China Public Art – Friday 5th
As part of CFCCA‘s diverse programme, this exciting street art project celebrates identity within the graffiti and street art scene. If you’re familiar with Northern Quarter’s public street art space, then pop over and watch it unfold over the festive period.
Dragon Parade – Sunday 7th, 1pm
Obviously this will be the penultimate and glorious end to the celebrations. Arrive early to get a good spot. The route starts in grand old Albert Square, slowing making its way into Chinatown and ends with a flurry of fireworks. If you can only make it to one event then make it this one – a real spectacle that can’t be missed.
Food Market – across the weekend.
This is an obvious one that needs no explanation. From bubble tea to beautifully fluffy Bao buns, get stuck in and eat delicious things. The street food village will be on New Cathedral Street (feat. Masterchef finalist The Hungry Gecko), and a more traditional food market will be in St Ann’s Square. This is a chance to sample lots of different things in a relaxed, festival environment. Try and eat everything if possible, and tweet me your findings.