Celebrating Chinese New Year in Manchester

We decided to celebrate Chinese New Year in Manchester this year with some friends. We brought along our children ranging from the ages of three plus to seven-years-old.  They enjoyed watching the parade, lion dance and participating in the  Chinese New Year activities at Central Library.  As we were walking towards Chinatown where most of the event took place, there was lots of stalls selling toys and chinese decorative lanterns which was alongside stalls selling street food.  Theme park style amusement rides were also aplenty, classical music lovers would have enjoyed listening to the Chinese Opera singers . Finally before we left we also experienced the familiar sounds of the chinese fireworks. All in all, it was a fabulous day. Do check out the photos and videos below.

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We took the train from Macclesfield to Manchester which stopped at Piccadilly Train Station, and then walked to Chinatown. Manchester city centre was clearly marked with lots of maps which made our walk easier as we were not familiary with the area.

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There were lots of amusement styled themed rides and stalls around and there were also some Asian food stalls along the streets.They were selling mainly spring roles, rice dishes as well as stir fried noodles. The food tasted good but not as good as the hawker food stalls which you would find in Asia. It was a great opportunity for the kids to try different types of Asian dishes.

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The streets were full of people all wanting to experience a little bit of the Chinese New Year excitment. There was a Buddist Temple which set up a little stall by the side of the street with the statue of Buddha for visitors to light insense sticks for good luck and to receive blessing from Buddha.  Lots of red chinese lanterns were adorned along the streets and hanging off the trees to create a lovely atmosphere as well.

Here’s a three minute video of the event if you want to get a feel of the parade

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I would have to say that the parade was the highlight of the day!  We walked and found the best place to view the parade and waited patiently for nearly half hour for it to start. There were lots of volunteers and participants who were dressed in colourful clothes in the parade just before the lion and dragon dances. It was short but very colourful parade with lots of loud drum sounds and extremely fun for the kids to watch.

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Everyone was in such a celebratory mood and even though the weather was cold it was not raining, everyone enjoyed the day being outdoors.

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We next headed indoors to The Central Library which was just walking distance from where all the parade was happening. There were lots of activities for the kids there from face painting, learning the right way to make chinese tea, photo opportunity with chinese characters, listening to classical chinese music as well as various art and craft activities.  It was a superb idea and I am sure many people were involved making the day a success. We all had a fantastic day out and the children had the opportunity to learn a lot more about Chinese culture, Chinese New Year and the year of the rooster.  Will totally recommend this to anyone thinking about heading of to Manchester next year.

 

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