17 Mar Chinese New Year falls on Tuesday 1st February
¡Chinese New Year falls on Tuesday 1st February!
Choosing the date | Travel Insurance Coverontrip
Unlike our New Years day in the western calendar (or to give it the correct name, the Gregorian calendar), Chinese New Year is not on a fixed date each year. This is because it’s based on the traditional Chinese lunar calendar, which uses the date of the first new moon (this is the first stage of a moon cycle, when it’s not visible in the sky) that falls between 21st January and 20th February.
Choosing the zodiac animal | Coverontrip Travel Insurance
The Chinese zodiac moves in a 12 year cycle, so every 12 years the same animals are trotted out again, in the following order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. This means that everyone’s Chinese zodiac will be one of these 12 animals, similar to the Western zodiac.
These animals were not just chosen at random though and there are many folk stories that explain their origins, but most are based on the tale of Jade Emperor who decreed that the years on the calendar would be named in order of the first 12 animals which arrived to a meeting he called.
Our favourite of these are the stories of how the rat deceived the cat, through various schemes, to arrive first and prevent the cat from being on the calendar. This is apparently why all cats now hunt rats, as they’re hungry for revenge.
What’s does the year of the dog mean? 🐾
As you will know by now, this year is the year of the dog. And anyone born this year or during the years 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 have this animal as their birth sign (we’ll try and refrain from calling you doggers!). But unfortunately for you guys, the years that share your birth sign are said to be bad luck. That being said, to be born in a dog year means you’re loyal and honest.
For the rest of us (non-doggers), family relationships will be important this year and it’s also a good year for a lifestyle change, such as quitting smoking or getting fit.
The best places in the UK to celebrate Chinese New Year ✨
Over a billion people in China celebrate their New Year with traditions such as cleaning their houses to literally and symbolical sweep away the dust and leave the past behind, hang red signs with poetic versus and red lanterns from their houses, set off fireworks and crackers to encourage good fortune and give “luck money” to children inside red envelopes.
Whilst it’s unlikely you will be doing any of these things (except perhaps the odd bit of dusting), you can still join in the celebrations throughout the UK and welcome in the year of the dog at the following events:
London: The partying in London is apparently the biggest outside Asia and last year saw more than 700,000 people join in. Chinatown and the West End will be hosting dragon and lion dancing parades, free stage performances and traditional Chinese food. This is followed by a pyrotechnic display in Trafalgar Square, from 5:30pm
Newcastle: The city will be hosting a parade which will include dragon, lion and unicorn dancing, as well as floats and other performances such as a female drumming troupe, folk dances and Children’s dragon dance. The route will be The Monument/Old Eldon Square, to Chinatown.
Birmingham: there is a lion dance in Colmore Road and a live Chinese cookery demonstration in Cathedral Square and on Saturday there is a lion dancing lap of Grand Central. The main partying is on the Sunday, in the Chinatown area, including performances, street food and a funfair.
Manchester: Not to be outdone by other cities, Manchester is planning its own celebrations which include a Dragon Parade from the town hall to Chinatown, as well as lion dancing, martial arts displays, food stalls and a funfair on Charlotte Street.
So if you’re going to any Chinese New Year celebrations, either in China, or more likely in the UK, don’t forgot to say “Xin Nian Kuai Le” (that’s Happy New Year in Mandarin, by the way).
Enjoy your trip!