For many countries around the world – including the UK, the New Year is celebrated every year as the clock strikes midnight on 31st December and we enter 1st January. But because the Chinese New Year is dependent upon the lunar calendar, it can fall anytime between 21st January and 20th February. Each year is represented by an animal in the Chinese animal zodiac which moves in a 12-year cycle.
For 2018, Chinese New Year will be celebrated on 16th February and it is the Year of the Dog – the 11th animal in the cycle. The recent Dog years are: 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018. People born in the year of the Dog are meant to be true, honest, loyal and reliable.
So, now you know a little more about Chinese New Year, you might be wondering how it’s celebrated. Well, from fireworks and lion dances, to families gathering for dinners and children being given red envelopes, it’s a big celebration with many traditions. And if you’re in London, you can join in with the celebrations too.
The city is holding a free event to celebrate Chinese New Year on Sunday 18th February between 10am and 6pm. Head to London Chinatown and the West End where the main celebrations will take place. They’ll be a colourful parade featuring a dragon and lion dance, both contemporary and traditional dance acts and artists on stage in Trafalgar Square, Chinese street food to enjoy and plenty of other free entertainment throughout the day. The day will end with a spectacular pyrotechnic display lighting up Trafalgar Square.
Find out more about Chinese New Year and the celebrations in London here.