ALSO known as the spring festival, the Chinese New Year is the most important date in the Chinese calendar. The start of the new year marks the first day of the first month in the traditional Chinese calendar.
Unlike the Gregorian calendar currently in use which is based on the solar cycle, the Chinese calendar is uni-solar which incorporate both the lunar and solar cycle.
There are 12 zodiacs in the Chinese New Year calendar, and the zodiac is on a 12-year cycle. This year marks the Year of the Monkey.
Normally, the celebration will start from the eve of the New Year and lasts for around 15 days.
All around the world, the Chinese communities mark the celebration with feasts, dances and paying their visits to families and relatives as well as friends.
Around 600,000 Chinese people attend the celebrations in Sydney’s Chinatown annually. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the city’s Chinese New Year festival and the organisers are putting-up a variety of feasts, exhibitions and concert performances. (https://whatson.cityofsydney. nsw.gov.au/major-events/ chinese-new-year-festival).
New York, United States
The celebration in New York will be centred around the Big Apple which has several Chinatowns in the Big Apple’s boroughs. The Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival will take place today (Feb 8) while a festival of food and street performances will commence on Feb 14.
San Francisco, United States
The main draw of the celebration in the city is the Grand Parade which is set to take place on Feb 20. Other events scheduled in conjunction with the celebration are an open flower market, Miss Chinatown Beauty Pageant, and a community fair.
Like San Francisco, London will have a big parade on Feb 14 traveling from Charing Cross Road to Chinatown. Entertainment shows such as dances, Chinese opera, martial arts demonstrations and pyrotechnics round-up the celebration.
The Chinese New Year Parade will take place on Feb 12 and 14, featuring dances, ‘dragons’ and drummers.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Nan Hua Temple in Johannesburg is the venue where food, traditional dances and martial art shows are held to mark the eve of the celebration. Johannesburg’s Chinatown will hold a more colourful and exuberant affair on Feb 13 where fireworks and parades reign supreme.