Updated: Wednesday, 1st March 2017 @ 1:36pm

Chinese New Year 2017: Manchester prepares for invasion of colourful warriors

Chinese New Year 2017: Manchester prepares for invasion of colourful warriors

| By Amber Thiara

As thousands get ready to flock to the Manchester for the annual Chinese New Year celebrations, one of the most anticipated attractions is the stunning Lantern of the Terracotta Warriors exhibition.

The Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors, which is in Exchange Square from today until Sunday, is a travelling art exhibition that features a collection of 40 brightly coloured, illuminated replicas of the famous Terracotta Army.

The 40 warriors are exact copies of some of the 8,000 clay statues that make up The Terracotta Army which was first discovered in 1974. The clay guards surround the tomb of Xi'an, the first   Emperor of China and date from around 210BC.

Each of the exhibits stands more than 6ft 7in high and were originally commissioned for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games by artist Xia Nan.

Since then the lantern warriors have travelled all over the world and have been visited by thousands at Sydney Harbour, Central Square in Zagreb and Hradcany Castle in Prague.

The colourful Terracotta Warrior lanterns are to be the centrepiece of the Manchester Chinese New Year celebrations and will also be making their first appearance in the UK.

The lanterns will light up Exchange Square marking the largest Chinese New Year celebrations outside of London’s Chinatown.

The exhibition has been made possible by the Federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester and Manchester City Council and Confucius Institute.

Manchester’s Business Improvement District Initiative chair, Jane Sharrocks, said: "Securing this world class exhibition is a major coup. The Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors are breath-taking and visitors can walk amongst them offering a truly immersive experience."

As well as the towering lantern warriors outside the Corn Exchange there will also be more than 6,000 traditional red lanterns adorning the city’s streets.

Another must see festive attraction is the giant Golden Dragon that can be found in Greengate Square, opposite Manchester Cathedral.

This 50-foot spectacle is the ideal spot to take some New Year snaps as the giant Golden Dragon will provide the perfect photo back-drop alongside the River Irwell.

The 2017 celebrations with the Terracotta Warriors at the heart of the festivities are set to be the biggest the city has ever seen.

Raymond Chan, chairman of the Manchester China Town Business Association and son of the founding father of Manchester’s Chinatown, said: “I am especially excited about this year’s celebration as it promises to be the best Manchester has ever seen.

“Apart from activities in Chinatown the whole of Manchester is celebrating too! The Terracotta Warrior Lantern Exhibition is to be on display for the first time in Manchester in Exchange square, a definite must see!”

The four day programme will not only be a celebration of the New Year but also a celebration of the very best of traditional and contemporary Chinese culture. 

The Corn Exchange have 13 culinary destinations to choose from, so there’s no need for you to bring in the Year of the Rooster on an empty stomach. 

Here are just five delicious chicken dishes…

Vapiano

Why don’t you celebrate the Italian way with a freshly prepared chicken pizza? Vapiano’s serves freshly prepared and authentic Italian cuisine, perfect for seeing in Chinese New Year amongst a more casual setting. Topped with chicken breast, chorizo, peppers, ricotta, mozzarella and smoked paprika, this delicious pizza will enable your taste buds to celebrate in style! All for £10.95.

Cabana 

Ring in the Year of the Rooster Cabana style! With a vast array of sharing options, why not choose the Chicken Croquetas served with Malagueta Mayo, £5.45, alongside the Pulled Chicken Sliders, £4.95, and enjoy sampling the taste of Brazil with your friends. 

Wahaca

If Mexican is your idea of food heaven, visit Wahaca for their mouth-watering Pastor Marinated Grilled Chicken, £12.25. Marinated in Yucatecan spices and pineapple juice and served with green rice, this dish will have you celebrating the tastes of Mexico during Chinese New Year. 

Byron

Feeling ‘clucky’? Indulge in Byron’s Clucky burger and enjoy a succulent fried chicken breast, guacamole, sriracha mayonnaise, picked red onions, sliced pickles and shredded iceberg all for £10.50 . 

Gino D’Acampo

It doesn’t get any better this Chinese New Year than Gino D’Acampo’s crispy chicken breast stuffed with mozzarella and basil pesto! At £14.50, this chicken dish will win over your taste buds and become your firm favourite.