Chinese Year of the Monkey set to swing into Manchester in ‘spectacular’ fashion

Spectacular celebrations lasting four days will welcome Chinese New Year, with big plans for Manchester set out by its Business Improvement District (BID).

This year’s festivities will see new attractions including a 50ft Giant Golden Dragon in Exchange Square, live street art by graffiti artists from Hong Kong and a Tsingtao Beer Ping Pong Bar, all between February 4 and 7.

Thousands of red lanterns will decorate the shopping streets for the Year of the Monkey and last year’s New Year Light Show featuring a giant twisting snake.

COLOUR AND LIGHT: Last year the display of artistry and animation brought some of China’s rich culture to St Ann’s Square

Jane Sharrocks, Chair of the Heart of Manchester BID and General Manager at Selfridges Exchange Square, said: “Manchester’s four day spectacular will make it one of the best places in Europe to welcome in the Year of the Monkey.

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.”

FLOATING LANTERNS: These red decorations that adorned the city’s streets in 2015 are bound to make a return

Thousands of ascending lanterns will return to light up St Ann’s Church and a premium Asian Street Food Village is setting up on New Cathedral Street.

A fireworks finale at Albert Square and China Town will finish off the celebrations with live music and a lion show already big attractions.

2016 also marks the 30 year anniversary of the city’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art and they are collaborating with prestigious artists and academics who have contributed to the organisation, producing a programme launching on February 4.

JUST THE BEGINNING: Chinese New Year festivites continue all weekend culminating with a fireworks display on Sunday night

The President of the Federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester (FCAM), Mr Stewart Yip said: “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 hope many will turn up to enjoy the joyful entertainments FCAM has put together for them.”

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.”

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