The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Welcoming Chinese New Year

A flash mob marked the beginning of Chinese new year celebrations


With January exams over and the second semester well underway, memories of singing Auld Lang Syne, committing to Dry January, and welcoming in 2018 couldn’t seem further away. Yet New Year celebrations are far from over as Chinese students around the city prepare to welcome in the year of the penultimate Chinese zodiac – the year of the dog.

While we may be familiar with some of the traditional ways in which our Chinese community celebrates their most important festival, this year has seen a special effort from the University’s Manchester Chinese Business Society (MCBS) in collaboration with Fuse TV to send a warm new year’s greeting to our Chinese community in the form of a flash mob. The flash mob (Saturday 10th February) was broadly based on traditional Chinese culture but was also able to incorporate a modern twist and reflected an innovative way to bring Chinese New Year celebrations to the heart of the city.

Passing through Albert Square on Saturday afternoon, one would have heard the elegant sounds of the Chinese pipa and erhu juxtaposed with Jay Chou’s new single and been enchanted by traditional Chinese dancing followed by a modern street dancing performance. The flash mob culminated with over sixty dancers from the University, the MCBS, and the Manchester Chinese Primary School dancing together, representing international friendship and a desire to deepen cultural understanding between China and the UK. The flash mob even made it to Manchester Airport where passengers checking-in for flights to Beijing received an unexpected performance.

Despite Saturday’s less than ideal weather conditions, the flash mob was thoroughly enjoyed by many passers-by who were able to experience such a diverse cultural performance. Eddy Newman, Lord Mayor of Manchester, found the performance to be particularly enjoyable and thanked MCBS and Fuse TV for organising the event.

Saturday’s flash mob represents part of a broader project by the MCBS and Fuse TV to release a Chinese New Year video wishing everyone a happy new year. Even if you missed it, you can catch the video on MCBS and Fuse TV’s social media accounts, CCTV, and it will even be shown on the Learning Common’s huge screen – so keep an eye out!