Chinese New Year in Manchester 2021

It’s almost Chinese New Year! A super fun celebration for the beginning of the new year on the traditional lunar calendar.

Lunar New Year is one of the most important holidays in China and this Friday the 12th February we’ll be celebrating *drumroll*…the Year of the Ox!

If you’re a student staying in our fab accommodation and wondering how to celebrate Chinese New Year in Manchester, keep reading.

With Manchester lockdown restrictions fully in place, as well as throughout the rest of the UK, we, unfortunately, can’t celebrate Chinese New Year like usual…sad times ☹

But, we’ve done our research and got our thinking hats on to come up with 10 ways you can celebrate in the comfort of your own accommodation, hurrah!

1. Cook A Feast

cook a feast for Chinese new year

Food is a HUGE part of Chinese New Year, so there really is no better time to cook an absolute feast for you and your pals.

Spring rolls, dumplings and fish are commonly eaten on Chinese New Year, and if you fancy something sweet, rice cakes are the one!

Translated as a “new year cake” this sweet and sticky dessert is a crowd-pleaser made from rice flour.

The cake is said to be a gift of good fortune for the new year, and there’s even a savoury version typically stir-fried in dishes in Northern china – yummy!

2. Decorate Your Accommodation

decorate accommodation for chinese new year

It’s always so easy to tell when Lunar New Year is edging closer with the abundance of colourful decorations littering the streets of Manchester.

Red lanterns are always a popular choice for Chinese New Year as they are said to warn off bad luck, which we deffo don’t want for 2021!

Other significant decorations include paper cuttings to symbolise luck and happiness, door couplets and blooming flowers.

The most popular flowers used during Chinese New Year are orchids, peonies, peach blossoms and plum blossoms.

There’s nothing more fun than decorating your student accommodation for this special occasion, so its time to get creative!

3. Exchange Gifts

gifts for chinese new year in manchester

Similar to Christmas, Chinese New Year has a tradition for gift-giving, especially if you’re part of the older generation!

Perhaps the most common New Year gift is a red envelope that usually contains money, being the colour red, it’s also meant to bring good luck.

You can receive these red envelopes electronically or by hand and they’re also given to retirees and children!

4. Zoom Call With Family

zoom call with family for chinese new year

The most important part of Chinese New Year is celebrating the good times with your family and friends!

Which is why now, more than ever, calls with your family and friends are deffo needed.

Though it’s a massive shame we can’t see our family and friends due to the current government lockdown restrictions, that doesn’t mean we can’t see them virtually.

Chinese New Year in Manchester is no doubt going to be very different this year, so we all need to come together and have some fun no matter how far away we all may be.

5. Watch CCTV’s New Year Gala

watch CCTV's chinese new year gala 2021

Get online and see if you can find a live stream of the CCTV New Year’s Gala, because you’re not going to want to miss out on this!

Broadcast live to the world by China Central Television, it has the largest audience of pretty much any entertainment show in the world – wowzers.

Last year there were over 1.2 billion viewers, and it will be broadcast this year on February 11th at 8pm.

There’s so many different types of performances to enjoy at the gala, including stand-up, dancing, singing, magic and Chinese opera.

Make sure you’ve got plenty of delicious snacks and celebrate Chinese New Year in Manchester in the comfort of your own student accommodation!

6. Stay Up Late

stay up late for chinese new year in manchester

It’d be a shame not to stay up late on this memorable night and celebrate Chinese New Year in style with your mates!

Of course, the city of Manchester may not be as lively as usual due to lockdown, but hopefully you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of some fireworks.

Known as “Shousui” (守岁-show-sway), staying up late during the Chinese New Year is a tradition said to keep watch over the year!

7. Have Oranges For Dessert

oranges for dessert to celebrate chinese new year

Another way of celebrating Chinese New Year in Manchester is choosing to have oranges for your dessert because they symbolize good luck and good fortune.

Head to your local supermarket and grab some mandarin, tangerines, oranges or clementines for a healthy snack during the day or for dessert.

That way you’re getting a nice bit of vitamin C and sticking with traditions too, winner winner!

8. Walk Around Chinatown

walk around chinatown in manchester

Why not take a nice socially distanced walk around Chinatown, remember to bring your mask for extra safety though!

There’s plenty of sights to see in this second-largest Chinatown in Manchester, filled with bags of colour and the famous archway on Faulkner Street.

Get a nice breath of fresh air and take a look at some of the fabulous Chinese New Year decorations, because there are bound to be loads!

9. Make Your Own Paper Lantern

make your own paper lantern

Instead of buying a standard paper lantern, why not get creative and make your own this Chinese New Year? It could be fun!

There’s plenty of YouTube tutorials you can follow that aren’t too complicated so you can make your own traditional lantern.

Just make sure you use the traditional colours of red and gold, pop some electric candles in the lantern and watch it glow!

10. Have Some Lucky Candy

have some lucky candy for chinese new year in manchester

Did you know? It’s actually a tradition to eat candied fruit and sweets, hooray!

You can grab some lucky candy on Amazon (which is always in red packaging) or head to your local Wing Yip store in Manchester.

Why not set out a bowl of tasty candy in your student accommodation for you and your mates to share, it’s rude no to share after all 😉

We hope you found these tips useful to celebrate Chinese New Year in Manchester! Although things may be a little different this year, it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and celebrate this special time. Have an amazing Chinese New Year and eat lots of tasty sweeties!

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