You’d have to have been temporarily locked in a closet this weekend to have missed the huge Chinese New Year celebrations happening around the city centre; From Harvey Nichols to Selfridges, every retailer had their own offers to help welcome in the year of the horse.
Beginning on Friday 31st January; there was loads to see and do if you had the chance to experience it. Saturday offered 500 lucky shoppers who were fortunate enough to receive a red envelope a £5 gift card. Harvey Nichols had offers all weekend including complimentary beauty consultations for everyone visiting and lucky dip prizes with a chance to win free treatments in store! A very exciting appearance was made from designer Jacky Tsai who customised any limited edition T-Shirts bought, which at £108 was an amazing opportunity to own a one of a kind original design. Additionally there was a Cosie bag up for grabs in a one off competition, along with limited availability of year of the horse cocktails and a sticky bun takeaway offering oriental inspired macaroons. It was the perfectly thought out to the last detail!
Selfridges had an equally impressive agenda arranged for the weekend, offering personalised messages scribed by Mandarin Calligraphy Artists and a limited number of gift cards for some shoppers. Yet another store offering give aways with purchases was House of Fraser, who promoted their built in bar with half price drinks and fortune cookies from Estee Lauder.
Visitors were spoilt for choice with options of food and drink; with all of China town promoting their traditional cuisine. The Chinese Food Market and Tiger Bar in St. Ann’s Square featured special performances and food offerings from Manchester’s best Chinese restaurants. It wasn’t a long trip to discover more perfomances taking place at the Kung Hei Fat Choi; which also had family workshops and the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art; which invited local illustrator Lydia Meiying to create a horse inspired window display, giving opportunity for passers by to get involved.
Easily the pinnacle of the weekend was the final Dragon Parade throughout the city centre, complete with 175 feet dragons and traditional dances from specially dressed performers. Travelling right through to Chinatown from Albert Square, there were food, fun fairs, martial arts displays and an amazing fireworks display ending the event at 6pm on Sunday. It was a weekend not to be missed and we’re already counting the days until next year.
By Leanne Coppock