Chinese New Year is the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar; every year marked with a different animal and in turn a different zodiac that carries unique symbolism for that year. This Chinese New Year falls on February 3rd and heralds the year of the rabbit. New Year festivities start on the first day of the lunar month continuing to the fifteenth when the moon is at its brightest.
Chinese New Year has many traditions, each of which signify good luck, wealth and happiness. Festivities are celebrated with family and loved ones in the first week followed by a Lantern festival. On New Years Eve families get together for a large traditional meal, depending on which region of China people come from. In the South people will eat â€˜nian gaoâ€™ – a sticky, sweet rice pudding or djiaozi – a steamed dumpling if theyâ€™re from the North.
People use fireworks to frighten away evil spirits and will set off thousands of fireworks throughout the New Year celebrations but especially on New Years Eve and New Years Day. As well as fireworks people will give and receive money, decorate paper lanterns, set off Chinese lanterns and take part in a dragon dance whilst collecting money.
In some countries, like England, festivities are shortened meaning the lantern festival with fireworks takes place on Chinese New Years day. Exciting fireworks, firework displays, parades with dragon dancing and brightly painted lanterns are enjoyed by thousands every year.
In the UK major celebrations for Chinese New Year are concentrated in London, usually in Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and Chinatown. London fireworks, special decorations, Chinese dragons and music are all free to be enjoyed.
Plan your Chinese New Year by following the Lunar Calendar
â€¢ February 19th 1996 â€“ Rat â€“ February 7th 2008
â€¢ February 7th 1997 â€“ Ox â€“ January 26th 2009
â€¢ January 28th 1998 â€“ Tiger â€“ February 14th 2010
â€¢ February 16th 1999 â€“ Rabbit â€“ February 3rd 2011
â€¢ February 5th 2000 â€“ Dragon â€“ January 23rd 2012
â€¢ January 24th 2001 â€“ Snake â€“ February 10th 2013
â€¢ February 12th 2002 â€“ Horse â€“ January 31st 2014
â€¢ February 1st 2003 â€“ Goat â€“ February 19th 2015
â€¢ January 22nd 2004 â€“ Monkey â€“ February 8th 2016
â€¢ February 9th 2005 â€“ Rooster â€“ January 28th 2017
â€¢ January 29th 2006 â€“ Dog â€“ February 16th 2018
â€¢ February 18th 2007 â€“ Pig â€“ February 5th 2019
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