Chinese New Year 2022 is on the horizon, and as always, Manchester has a whole week of celebrations lined up to mark the occasion.
While Manchester’s usual annual celebrations for Chinese New Year – also known as Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival – may be on a slightly smaller scale this year due to the COVID restrictions in place to allow visitors to safely enjoy the events, there’s still plenty happening across the city centre to help bring in the ‘Year of the Tiger’.
Chinese New Year is officially being celebrated in Manchester this year from Tuesday 1 – Sunday 6 February.
As mentioned, 2022 has been named the ‘Year of the Tiger’, and according to the Chinese zodiac, people born in this year are predicted to be brave, competitive, unpredictable, and confident – just like the animal.
To honour 2022’s animal namesake, a large-scale tiger art sculpture will take centre stage in St Ann’s Square as just one the events in the calendar.
You may have also seen that thousands of red lanterns have started adorning the city’s streets, and you can also expect the chance to take in some spectacular live performances, feast on authentic street food, and a make the most of a funfair, plus some traditional lion and dragon dances over the course of the week too.
Here’s everything happening for Chinese New Year 2022 in Manchester.
The New Year Tiger
St Ann’s Square
Tuesday 1 – Sunday 6 February 2022
New for 2022, commissioned by Manchester BID, and created by Decordia Events, this jaw-dropping installation will be a structural take on the traditional tiger made from wood and recycled corrugated plastic.
While we know that the tiger is a symbol of power in Chinese culture and is considered to be brave and forceful, this origami-like tiger sculpture, however, will give the ultimate illusion to those who lay their eyes on it, as it appears to be weak and made of paper, but in fact, it will remain tall and strong for the world to see.
The tiger’s inner structure will also playfully-match the stripes and markings of a real-life tiger, casting stunning shadows at night with surrounding lights.
Sunday 6 February 2022
While sadly, popular annual events such as the parade and the firework finale will not be taking place in 2022 due to COVID restrictions, there’s still plenty to make the most of in Manchester city centre’s very-own Chinatown.
Think live performances, workshops, street food, stalls, and a funfair, as well as the illuminated Dragon, and other family-friendly activities such as traditional lion dances, Chinese acrobatics, singing, poem reading, and Kung Fu.
Performances will take place from 11am – 7pm in Chinatown Car Park, and you can see the illuminated dragon on the hour from 4pm – 7pm in Chinatown itself.
It’s asked that you please wear a mask when possible at all Chinatown events.
The Door Opened: 1980s China
Manchester Central Library
26 January – 26 April 2022
Brought to Manchester Central Library by the Confucius Institute at The University of Manchester, from 26 January – 26 April, English photographer Adrian Bradshaw’s exhibition The Door Opened: 1980s China will feature a blend of candid and posed photographs exploring China in the 1980s.
Bradshaw went to Beijing as a student in 1984 just as everyday life was in flux, and caught up in the ferment of the time, he went on to spend three decades documenting the transformation of China as the vast nation changed and opened up to the world.
Photographs captured document everything from opulent fashion extravaganzas, to sentimental family excursions, as he captures the fleeting beauty and simplicity of everyday life.
It’s described as a vivid record of a pivotal period in modern history.
Stores like Cow Vintage, Blue Rinse, and Pop Boutique, not to mention the numerous charity shops and pop-ups that line Oldham Street, have turned that corner of town into a haven for lovers of the fashions of yesteryear.
But now there’s a new outpost in the heart of Chinatown – and it’s possibly the most stylish, charming vintage store in the city yet.
Stare Society opened last December, and has put some serious effort into both sourcing the items it sells, and decorating the space it sells them from.
Tucked away up a flight of stairs in a corner unit above Red Chilli, you’ve probably walked straight past it a dozen times already.
But glance up above the long-standing Chinese restaurant and you’ll notice a slowly rotating disco ball in the window, giving just a taste of all the treats in store.
Venture inside and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped right back in time to the 1970s, greeted by the sound of Fleetwood Mac being piped through the speakers (the legendary group are also the stars of a huge framed photo above the fireplace inside).
Stare Society is decorated to the nines – fringed lampshades, rattan screens, glitter ball plant pots, guitars, and a huge leopard print chaise lounge in the window, draped in retro-printed cushions, vinyl records and vintage hats.
There are 1970s-inspired scented candles named things like Cherry Bomb, Tiny Dancer and Rebel Rebel, and all sorts of knick-knacks (sunglasses, tiny mirrors, antique glassware) hailing back to the glory days of rock n roll.
Then there’s the clothes – racks full of leather jackets, leopard-print furry coats, and fringed suede waistcoats.
Retro t-shirts with contrasting collars, with ‘Manchester 1970’ and ‘Chinatown 1970’ scrawled across them.
Cowboy boots painted with stars, piles of colourful felt berets, and loudly-patterned blouses.
The space is so beautiful, it’s actually available to hire, for things like photoshoots and private events, with a vision to host intimate gigs inside in the future.
Stare Society joins the booming vintage scene in Manchester, like Bare Necessities, the online giant that recently hosted a pop-up store on High Street that everyone lost their minds over.
You’ll find Stare Society at 20 Nicholas Street on the edge of Chinatown in Manchester.
Featured image: The Manc Group
Flashback Festival adds massive new headliner to throwback 90s and 00s festival in Manchester
Flashback Festival, the huge music event celebrating all things 90s and 00s, has just added a major headliner to this summer’s bill.
The festival is set to take over Platt Fields Park in May for a day of serious nostalgia, featuring some of the biggest names in dance music history.
Flashback Festival’s first wave of artists was announced last month, featuring legends like Fatman Scoop, Artful Dodger, D:Ream with a special 30 live showcase years set, and Sweet Female Attitude on the line-up.
And now the huge event has announced that Katy B will be headlining the main stage.
The British singer was behind massive singles including Katy on a Mission and Lights On back in the early 2010s.
This year’s festival follows 2022’s sold-out event, and will once again feature a huge outdoor main stage as well as a festival village, VIP area and after parties.
Elsewhere on the festival site, the Clubland Big Top stage will be back celebrating the golden age of dance music – artists announced there are Alice Deejay, Ultrabeat, Flip n Fill, Milk Inc Live (Linda Mertens).
On the Back By Dope Demand stage will be superstar DJs and artists like Livin’ Joy, N-Trance, Shades of Rhythm and K-Klass.
Flashback Festival will be bringing Golden back to Manchester – the brand responsible for countless dance culture moments – with The Golden Stage, which will feature an all-star cast of trance and big room DJs.
The Golden Stage line-up includes Lisa Lashes, Dave Pearce, Nalin & Kane and Yomanda.