Chinese New Year is one of my favourite holidays, for me it marks the real new year, January always seems so dreary and doesn’t feel like the start of something new at all…Chinese New Year always marks the approach of Spring and feels more like a fresh beginning to me!
This year was no different, and we celebrated New Year as we always do…with family and food!
The Year of the Dog is a relatively home centred year, urging us all to focus on getting things sorted and running smoothly at home before embarking on new adventures and projects…something I really welcome after a stressful 2017 that saw the arrival of baby Ariel and a home renovation project (no kitchen and two kids ) that went on for months!
Safe to say we were looking forward to a brand new year and a brand new energy, so when Chinese New Year finally arrived we were ready to celebrate!
One thing I always do is get the girls some cute little Chinese outfits…can’t help myself, they’re just too cute. We get ours from AliExpress or Ebay (just search for Chinese Kids Costume or Cheongsam) .
We had lots of fun at home making Chinese food and crafting with some Baker Ross sets (they had so many Chinese New Year themed ones I couldn’t believe my luck!) making Happy New Year cards and Costumed Pandas and Dog Decorations – April loved it!
We decided to make the hour and half journey to Manchester to join in their celebrations in Chinatown – I love living in York but there isn’t much going on for Chinese New Year here ever – we go to Manchester almost every year because its such good fun.
To be honest the first time we went with a child in tow I was a bit nervous because it can get pretty busy, but every time we have been we’ve all had an amazing time – kids included.
When is it? – Usually the first Sunday after Chinese New Year
Where is it? – Manchester Chinatown
What time? – The celebrations go on all day but the Dragon Parade has set times that change each year so check online before going. This year it arrived in Chinatown at around 1pm.
Where can I park? – We always park at Store Street Car Park (M1 2WD) £5 for the whole day, it’s 5mins walk away.
What is there to do? – There is so much to do! There are always loads of stalls selling festive goodies and street food, there are fairground rides and games, there is the Dragon Parade and a stage set up providing entertainment all day (dancers, singers, acrobats, martial artists), balloon release and fireworks after dark.
What can I eat? – Possibly my favourite shop in the whole of Manchester is Ho’s Bakery in Chinatown so we always go there first and stock up on a big bag of baked goodies, (my favourite is the curry chicken bun) and of all the snacks available I think the buns from Ho’s are most child friendly for on the go, (noodles in the buggy – I’m not about that life). Of course the holy grail for Chinese New Year is a huge table of dim sum!
The kids had an amazing time soaking up the atmosphere and watching the dancers and searching for the Dragon…a pork bun in one hand and a tacky red drum in the other!
We will probably do it all over again next year!
Happy New Year!