The Lunar New Year festivities, which includes a legendary dragon parade, are returning to Manchester this February. Taking place throughout Chinatown and across the city, Mancs will be able to bring in the Year of the Dragon in style – with plenty of events and activities to take part in.
As always, this year’s celebrations – which have been organised by the Federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester (FCAM), in partnership with Manchester Business Improvement District (BID) and Manchester City Council – will also see the return of Manchester’s famous traditional red lanterns all around town.
What Lunar New Year celebrations are taking place in Chinatown?
The celebrations in Chinatown are free to attend and will kick off on February 10, where Mancs can potter around the city and enjoy the thousands of red lanterns that are dotted in the trees. On February 11, you can witness the legendary Dragon Parade, watch live performances, visit stalls and be entertained at the funfair. Culminating the Lunar New Year events in Manchester on a high, visitors will find a live performance stage, Chinese arts and crafts workshops and a street food market from 12pm – 8pm, as well as an illuminated dragon finale at 6pm.
When and where will the Dragon Parade take place?
Back for another year, and aptly for the Year of the Dragon, a traditional Dragon Parade will take place on Sunday 11 February and will depart from 12pm. The famous 175ft dragon will make its way through the city’s streets towards Chinatown, accompanied by a parade featuring traditional Lion and Ribbon dances, Chinese Opera performers, twelve Zodiac animals and Ancient Army characters, as well as singers, violinists, choir performances and Chengdu acrobats.
In a new route for 2024, performances will begin at 12pm at the Oxford Street and George Street junction, before the parade makes its way to Chinatown via Portland Street, Princess Street and Faulkner Street, concluding in Chinatown.
Dragon Parade Performance and Parade Times
12pm – 12.30pm: Performances, Oxford Street
12.30pm- 1pm: Dragon Parade, Oxford Street to Chinatown
1pm: Dragon Parade, Arrives in Chinatown
1.10pm – 1.40pm: Performances, Faulkner Street Car Park, Chinatown
1.40pm: Dragon Leaves Chinatown
What other Lunar New Year celebrations are taking place in Manchester?
Other venues celebrating the Lunar New Year in the city include Manchester Museum which is hosting live performances and workshops on February 7 that will help you create your own decorations in time for the weekend’s Lunar New Year celebrations across Manchester. You’ll also have the chance to hang your wishes for the new year on our blossom tree in the Main Hall.
The evening will start from 6pm with a stunning Lion Dance, followed by music from Manchester-based Chinese music ensemble Oriental Breeze, and a host of fun workshops including bracelet-making, calligraphy and origami as well as Taichi taster sessions.
Join Tattu in Manchester for Lunar New Year from February 9 with limited edition specials and celebratory cocktails. The excitement will conclude with a Lantern Festival on February 24, featuring Chinese Lion Dancers and DJs to close out the two weeks of jubilation.
Diners can expect to enjoy a variety of unique dishes on the Á La Carte menu including: the ‘Pecking Duck Money Bag’ with hints of orange and chilli or the ‘Smoked Mushroom Moneybag’. Guests will also be able to sample an exclusive decadent dessert, The Year of the Dragon, inspired by the zodiac animal, and made with a tasteful cashew butter fudge, honeycomb and marshmallow served in a distinctive, beautifully decorated glass. Plus, diners will have the chance to try the Dragon’s Breath cocktail with Bobby’s Gin, ODD Hibiscus, Lemongrass and Pomegranate.
Ducie Street Warehouse
Ducie Street Warehouse is joining forces with the team at Floating Art to celebrate Lunar New Year by hosting a lantern making workshop. Taking place on February 3, the workshop is priced at £30 per person which includes all materials such as bamboo brushes, sumi ink and mineral paints in order to practice Chinese brush painting.
If you missed out on the Ducie Street workshop, Floating Art will be returning to Manchester once again for Chinese brush painting, but at GRUB instead. The workshop taking place on February 10 from 1pm will introduce the delicate art form, as well as show some basic brushwork and painting techniques. The workshop will teach you different styles which will help you build up to your final piece which will be painted onto a Rice paper board or Rice paper fan. The workshop costs £28.20 per person and booking is required.
Or why not head over to Salford for some Lunar New Year celebrations? On February 11, 11am to 2pm, keen calligraphers and novices are welcome to come along to a free workshop at Kargo.Mkt and get insights into the fascinating world of Chinese calligraphy. Visitors will learn about the history, symbolism, and techniques behind this ancient art form and walk away with a beautiful Chinese calligraphy of their name.
Plus, between 12pm and 3pm on February 11, visitors will get the chance to dive into the enchanting world of traditional Chinese music at Kargo.Mkt’s Live Guzheng (Chinese plucked zither) performance. Mesmerising tunes of the Guzheng – a traditional Chinese zither with a rich history dating back thousands of years, will fill the Salford-based food hall, as skilled musicians showcase the beauty of this ancient instrument.
The Ivy Asia
At The Ivy Asia, Spinningfields, guests will be able to enjoy a brand new Dim Sum menu, available weekdays between 11.30am – 4.30pm. There also five brand new cocktails in partnership with KI NO BI Gin, perfect for toasting to a prosperous new year. Try the KI NO BI 75 with passion fruit boba, or the Lunar Negroni for a twist on the classic. And if you’re heading to The Ivy Asia for dinner, you can enjoy the gift of sipping on the new Red Dragon Martini cocktail when ordering from their opulent Dragon Experience menu.
On February 21, the Portico Library will host a traditional Lion Dance by Master Tang to celebrate Year of the Dragon. Watch the Dance of the Red Lion come to life with musical accompaniments and see in the Lunar New Year in style! The performance is on from 4pm until 5pm and is free of charge for visitors to enjoy, however there is limited space in the library.
To celebrate Lunar New Year MOTLEY will usher in the Year of the Dragon with a tasty Pan-Asian pop-up menu featuring Asian tapas and themed, mythical cocktails. Indulge in delicious dumplings or tapas like Steamed Edamame, Crispy Shichimi Squid, Veggie Spring Rolls or Gyoza. Guests can sip on a fruity Dragonfruit Mojito, a sweet Orange Ginger Blossom made with gin, ginger liqueur, mandarin and sweet vermouth or be bold and brave with the Breath of Fire; a spirited blend of vodka, lychee, raspberry chilli and lime.