This weekend it will be Chinese New Year celebrations in most parts of the world, with firecrackers being blasted, red money packet (ang pows) being handed out to family and friends, families gathering from near and far for their Reunion dinner meal and eating delicious food such as steamed fish, stir fried vegetables, seafood, roast suckling pork and yee sang…all to ensure good luck and prosperity for the coming year. It is also tradition for families to have oranges (usually 9) and pineapples in their living room or kitchen for good feng shui. In the Chinese language pineapple is called ‘ong-lai’ which consists of the word ‘ong’ which means good luck. This year we will be saying good bye to the year of the Rooster and ushering in the Year of the Dog. To join the festivities, we are sharing some activities which will be taking place both in Manchester and Stoke-on-Trent in the coming weeks. This would be a great opportunity for the kids to learn more about Chinese culture and to participate in fun craft activities and to see the ever popular dragon dance.
Chinese New Year is celebrated grandly in Manchester due to its large Chinese communities that live there and also due to China Town. Some of the things planned this year is the annual dragon parade (which the kids will totally love), Chinese street food, kids craft activities, martial arts displays, funfairs with over 20 rides on Charlotte Street as well as a a huge fireworks display at 6pm. The Manchester events will be happening on 17 & 18 February from 11am until 7pm.
Here’s our blog post on lat year’s Chinese New Year celebrations in Manchester with a short video: Chinese New Year in Manchester
The programme for this year includes:
Chinese Street Food
Head to St Ann’s square to have a look at the Chinese food market and to enjoy some yummy selection of Chinese street food. There will be plenty of choices such as dim sums, steamed buns, noodles, fried rice and spring rolls amongst others. This is also a great opportunity for fussy kids to try new flavours.
Golden Dragon Parade
The 175-foot giant golden dragon together with the lion dancers are set to entertain crowds of fans again this weekend. Starting its dance at Albert Square, before heading down towards Chinatown, its set to dazzle spectators with its moves and drumbeat. Here is the programme:
12pm Martial arts and dance displays in Albert Square
12.30pm Dragon appears in Albert Square
1pm Dragon parade marches from the town hall to Chinatown
1.30pm Dragon parade arrives in Chinatown NCP car park to firecrackers and New Year addresses from VIPs and community leaders.
2pm – 5pm Lion and Unicorn visit and bless all of the businesses on Chinatown – some businesses will be setting off Chinese firecrackers when visited by the Lion and the Unicorn
2pm – 5pm Two stages in Chinatown and Albert Square will provide a varied programme of spectacular Chinese acrobatics, dances and music
6pm Fireworks finale to the celebrations in Chinatown
There will be lots of Chinese themed craft workshops happening at Manchester Arndale run by the Confucius Institute and Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art. Teachers from China will spend the day introducing children and their carers to Chinese cultural activities, like Chinese knot making, helping them create their own knotted bracelet decorated with an animal charm to welcome the Year of the Dog. These activities are free to join and will take place on Saturday, 17 February from 11am until 5pm.
Head to The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery at Bethesda Street in the City Centre on 25 February to join in the Chinese New Year festivities and to welcome the Year of the Dog. Running for the the last 10 years, the event is set to be another huge success with lots of fun activities will be taking place which include the Dragon and Lion dance performances, the rare Unicorn Dance, Chinese craft workshops, Cantonese Opera, firecrackers, acrobatics and much more. These free activity will be starting at 11am and continue till 5pm that evening.
Did you know facts about the Zodiac
Did you know that the Chinese zodiac sign, moves in 12-year cycles with those who are born in 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, and 2018 are born in the Year of the Dog. The Chinese believe that the animal that you represent says a lot about your personality traits. Those born in the Year of the Dog are communicative, serious, and responsible and hardworking in the workplace.
The dog is the eleventh zodiac sign. Other Chinese zodiac animal signs include the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
Which Chinese zodiac animal do I belong to?
The animal changes at the beginning of the Chinese New Year, see which one is yours below.
- Rat: 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960
- Ox: 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961
- Tiger: 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962
- Rabbit: 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963
- Dragon: 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964
- Snake: 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965
- Horse: 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966
- Goat: 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967
- Monkey: 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968
- Rooster: 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969
- Dog: 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970, 1958
- Pig: 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971, 1959