Chinese New Year is one of the world's most colourful, worldwide events and triggers celebrations across the globe. Our New Year celebrations always take place at the same time, at midnight on December 31, but Chinese New Year varies each year because it is based on the lunar calendar. Chinese New Year's Day normally falls between January 21 and February 20, this is quite interesting as this means that it will change from year to year.
The Chinese New Year spans for a massive 15 days, it is the most important day of the year in the Chinese calendar. The celebration is based on the ancient Chinese lunar calendar and falls on the 2nd new moon just after the Winter Solstice.
2018 will be the Year of the Dog!
The Chinese zodiac moves in a 12 year cycle, and people born in 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, and 2018 are also known as Dogs!
According to Asian astrology, your year of birth and the animal this represents determines lots about your personality traits. Anyone born in a Dog year will be communicative, serious, and responsible in the workplace!
But where did the Chinese Zodiac animals come from?
Image from metro.co.uk
One version of the legend says that the Jade Emperor, the ruler of Heaven and the Earth, decided to hold a race to pick the animals for the Chinese zodiac to celebrate his birthday. It’s also said that the Jade Emperor decided to hold the race because it wanted to find 12 guards to heaven, who later became the zodiac animals.
All the animals in the world were invited to participate in the race and the first 12 to cross the heavenly river would be picked to be zodiac animals. At this time, the rat and the cat were supposedly friends, and as the story goes the rat was supposed to wake the cat early so they could start the race together. Although on the day of the race, the rat either forgot or deliberately didn’t wake the cat, which is why the cat doesn’t feature on the Chinese zodiac!
How is Chinese New Year celebrated?
The global celebrations are an explosion of light and sound that involve bell ringing, lighting firecrackers and watching traditional lion dances. Chinese families gather together for a reunion dinner on New Year's Eve, and clean their houses to sweep away bad fortune on New Year's Day.
Traditionally children would be given red envelopes stuffed with 'lucky money' and positive wishes on New Year's Day.
How is it celebrated here in the UK?
Exciting Chinese New Year celebrations happen all over the world, and there are nearly 200,000 Chinese people living in the UK, so celebrations happen here too!
This year London's celebrations take place on Sunday February 18 (the Sunday after Chinese New Year on February 16) between 10am and 6pm and are free to attend. The festivities will be taking place in Trafalgar Square, Chinatown and the West End.
It’s not just the capital that’s getting involved in the action, places like Newcastle and Manchester have exciting events running too! New Year events in Newcastle will start on February 16 and last for 15 days after. The event takes place between 11am and 4pm, kicking off in Stowell Street - which is home to Newcastle's Chinatown.
Why not add some fun and vibrant decorations to your home this Chinese New Year to help see in the celebrations? Here at UK Christmas World we have lots of great lighting options that are sure to brighten up your Chinese New Year!
Why not try lights that are the traditional red colour to create the perfect atmosphere?
Here we have our gorgeous 20 Red StarLED's, our 80 Red LED Cherry Lights, our Red 3D Paper Star Light and 720 Multi Action LED Supabrights (also available in other sizes).
Whether you’re looking to add decoration to your home indoors or outdoors, these ideas are fantastic, but head to our UK Christmas World website to view these items and many more fantastic options to illuminate your home this Chinese New Year!