Manchester’s event calendar is brimming with activity. Whether expats are literary enthusiasts, sports fans or food connoisseurs, they are sure to find a number of annual festivals that suit their interests.

Here is a list of the main festivals and events on Manchester’s calendar.


Annual events in Manchester

Chinese New Year (January/February)

Manchester is home to the third largest Chinatown in Europe, and each year locals get together to view the colourful New Year parade and join the celebration which lasts several days. Along with the colourful Dragon Parade, attendees can also enjoy Chinese arts and crafts, various performances and of course an array of authentic Chinese cuisine.

Manchester Marathon (April)

Sporty expats who are looking for a challenge should secure a place in the Manchester Marathon. The UK's second-largest marathon, the event is known for its 'fast, flat and friendly' route. The marathon covers 26.2 miles (42.2 km) across the city’s streets, finishing at Old Trafford, Manchester United’s football ground. Those that prefer to spectate will find there are still plenty of ways to be part of the event as the city comes alive with music and entertainment on race day. 

Manchester Jazz Festival (May)

This is a fantastic summer festival where music fans can enjoy live jazz at a range of venues across the city. Expats will find that many of the performances are very reasonably priced and others are totally free.

Manchester Pride (August)

This is one of the biggest and most loved celebrations of LGBT+ life in Europe. Many people fly in from overseas to attend the colourful parade and the numerous afterparties that are held in the Canal Street area on the August bank holiday.

Manchester Literature Festival (October)

This was once a simple poetry festival but has now grown into one of the top literary events to be held in Manchester. Guests can attend readings, discussions and special events at various venues across the city.

Christmas Markets (November/December)

From the middle of November, Manchester’s city centre plays host to a number of Christmas markets. Expect to find old-fashioned toys, Christmas decorations, ceramics, paintings, jewellery and knitwear. A glass of mulled wine certainly helps get everyone into the festive spirit.

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