With the Chinese New Year festivities almost upon us, Manchester will be seeing in 2014’s Year of the Horse with the city’s biggest celebrations to date. Taking place city-wide, this year the festivities extend to the shopping district, with traditional red Chinese lanterns decorating the likes of Market Street, St Ann’s Square and King Street and 2,000 Chinese New Year branded red envelopes containing special vouchers being handed out around the Arndale on Saturday 1 February. With Manchester Art Gallery, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (see our preview) all in on the action, there’s plenty of events to get involved in. Here are our picks of the best…

Dragon Parade
The centrepiece of Manchester’s Chinese New Year celebrations, the famous Dragon Parade returns on Sunday 2 February as the spectacular 175ft dragon dances its way from Albert Square to Chinatown. Culminating in a fireworks display at 6pm, Chinatown will be decked out with street food stalls, a funfair, traditional dance and performances and a selection of Chinese arts such as calligraphy, origami and tangrams for all to try.
Sun 2 Feb, starts at Albert Square, M2 5RT, 1pm, FREE

Chinatown food market at Albert Square
The go-to place for the best of Manchester markets, Albert Square will be hosting a selection of the best Chinatown eateries in the build up to the Dragon Parade. Stalls to look out for include Yang Sing, Red Chilli, Wong Wong Bakery, I am Pho and Pearl City, who will all be showcasing their sumptuous menus. Tiger Beer will host a pop-up bar, while there will also be entertainment in the form of traditional music and performance throughout the weekend.
Thu 30 Jan – Sat 1 Feb, Albert Square, M2 5RT, 12pm – 9pm, FREE

American Dream in China screening at Cornerhouse
Cornerhouse celebrates Chinese New Year with a screening of Peter Chan’s aspirational drama American Dream in China, featuring a pre-film talk from University of Manchester Chinese Studies lecturer, Dr William Schroeder. Following three friends who build a business empire by teaching English in an attempt to achieve the American Dream, the film touches on contemporary nationalism, which Shroeder will discuss in his talk, as he explores China’s striking role at the centre of the interconnected world.
Tue 4 Feb, Cornerhouse, 70 Oxford Street, M1 5NH, talk starts 5.15pm (£4), film starts at 6pm (£8), cornerhouse.org

Photo: Mark Crossfield @Flickr

Thu 30 Jan - Sun 2 Feb
Hannah Phillips
Published on:
Fri 31 Jan 2014