21 October 2018   |  Last Updated 24-02-2015 09:03

      Tuesday 24, February 2015

      IN PICTURES: Chinese New Year 2015

      THOUSANDS of people gathered around Manchester's St. Ann's Square, Albert Square and China Town to be a part of the festive atmosphere of the Lunar New Year.

      Albert square came alive as the annual Dragon Parade began here before snaking through the streets of Manchester city centre.

      A spectacular 175 foot long dragon was the highlight of the weekend’s festivities which attracted local and international tourists.

      This year’s symbol ram was designed by a Chinese Mancunian designer Stanley Chow.

      The New Yorker designer said that he wanted to create something outstanding when he was asked to design this year’s symbol.

      He added: “Especially after seen recent years designs and etc which were basically stock photography I wanted to create something extraordinary and something I could be proud of when I see it.

      “I’m Chinese myself so when I got offered this job I was like YES! As a Chinese Mancunian it is an honour for me to take part in this event.

      “Now when I’m walking down a street in the city centre I see my designs and they make me skip a step when I’m walking.”

      2015 is the year of ram; however it is also frequently referred to as ‘The year of goat’ or ‘The year of sheep’.

      The confusion originates from the Chinese character ‘yang’, which can be translated to ram, goat or sheep.

      When talking about the meaning of the year of ram, the 41-year-old said: “My mum was born in the year of Ram and me and my mum get along really well so for that reason this year has a special meaning.

      “Being asked to create the design for the year of my mum’s birth was a great coincidence which made me extremely happy.”

      The year of ram’s corresponding element is wood, it is believed in Chinese Zodiac that ram is sympathetic, kind, creative and elegant; it is the symbol of peace and harmony.

      It is also thought that ram combined with the characteristics of wood, ram’s creativity will be unleashed.

      Ms Chao-xing Liu, 27, said: “I am very happy to see Manchester hosting this event every year. As a Chinese person Chinese New Year is very important to me and I really enjoy joining this event year after year.

      “It was a great pleasure to be a part of this year’s celebrations, a full weekend dedicated to Chinese people. I particularly enjoyed the dragon parade, I couldn’t believe how long the dragon was, it was amazing.”

      The year of ram will follow a peaceful year of the horse and will bring a calmer atmosphere.

      Happy Lunar New Year!

      By Koray Erol