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Confucius Institute

Diao Dou at Manchester Literature Festival

Cultural events and activities

Through our public events programme, we bring elements of ancient and modern China to our audiences.

The Confucius Institute serves The University of Manchester, the city and wider Greater Manchester region as a Chinese cultural hub. Most of our events are free and everyone is welcome.

As well as special, one-off events such as art exhibitions and touring performances, our regular cultural event and activity programme includes:

Festival Celebrations

A vital part of our calendar and a great way to bring people together.

Chinese New Year

The Confucius Institute is proud to be the cultural partner for Manchester's Chinese New Year Festival, one of the biggest in Europe, drawing around 90,000 visitors into the city centre. 

Working with Heart of Manchester BID, which supports the Manchester City Council and Chinatown, the institute brings traditional Chinese culture to the people of Manchester through language tasters, Chinese paper cutting, Chinese music and Chinese tea ceremonies.

Our team of skilled teachers help to spread the New Year cheer at Manchester Arndale, Virgin Money Lounge, Manchester Central Library, Manchester Art gallery, and St Ann's and Albert Squares. 

Dragon Boat Festival

The institute celebrates the Dragon Boat Festival by participating in the annual Confucius Institute Dragon Boat Race each May in the North West region of Manchester, Liverpool, Lancaster and Preston. 

Mid-Autumn Festival 

The Mid-Autumn festival is often celebrated on campus in conjunction with welcoming the returning and new students to the University.

Public Talks on China

Our Confucius Institute talks are free, informal, informative lectures aimed at a non-academic audience. We invite leading thinkers and practitioners with an interest in China to speak for an hour on the topic of their choice.

This term's talks will continue to be held at the Kanaris Theatre, The Manchester Museum, Oxford Road between 1pm and 2pm on an elected Monday every months during term time.

Check our current events calendar for details on our upcoming talks.

Alternatively, you can browse our event archive for the comprehensive collection of previous talks, covering topics like Chinese kunqu opera, Hong Kong cinema and Chinese politics.

Chinese Cinema

Through our partnership with the Chinese Film Forum UK (CFFUK), we sponsor regular screenings of modern Chinese, Hong Kong and Taiwanese films at HOME Mcr.

Over the last three years, CFFUK has organised successful film series such as Hong Kong Crime Films (April 2016), Hong Kong Short Films (Feb 2017) and Creative Vision (Nov 2017). Popular Chinese films such as Golden Era, I Am Not Madam Bovary and If You Are Not The One give the viewer a taste of contemporary Chinese society.

Most screenings are introduced by Chinese film experts and, on occasions, we invite attendees to enjoy post-show pizza and conversation.

Check CFFUK for more information and forthcoming titles.

Chinese Literature

We are most proud of our longstanding partnership with Manchester Literature Festival (MLF), with whom we work to bring a different Chinese author to appear at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation (IABF) every year.

Check our upcoming events below for details of what's in store and browse our events archive to see what we've been up to.

Chinese Music

The Confucius Institute works closely with the Music Department at The University of Manchester and commissioned three choir pieces for the 10th-anniversary celebration. These pieces were composed by students based on famous Tang poems:

Many of our teachers play Chinese instruments such as zither, erhu, pipa and they perform as well as teach workshops. Traditional Chinese instruments and music have inspired new compositions. Joshua Brown, PhD students in Music composed orchestra piece CONVERGENCES inspired by Confucian ideas Ya Yueh and Su Yueh.

  • Hear how traditional Chinese Instruments and music have inspired Joshua and his composition

In October 2017, the Institute formed its own choir ‘Harmony  和’, where staff and students have the opportunity to share their passion for singing and languages through songs from UK and China. Rehearsals are on Wednesdays from 2-3pm at the John Casken Theatre, Martin Harris Centre. Spanish conductor Juan Ortuño creates a fun atmosphere by introducing English and Mandarin songs that are sung in lovely rich four-part harmonies. Get in touch if you are interested in joining us!

Events Archive

Discover previous events at the Confucius Institute, dating back to 2012.