What’s more fun than celebrating Chinese New Year and Valentines Day in London?
Chinese New Year, which marks the turn of the Chinese calendar, will be celebrated on February 8th, 2016. However, on February 14th, the main celebrations will take place in London with a range of events.
Celebrations start on the Chinese New Years Eve (the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar) and runs until the 15th day of the first month (the Lantern Festival). Each year, Chinese New Year falls on a different date because of the lunisolar calendar.
Chinese New Year, which is also referred to as the Spring Festival is celebrated in many other countries including Taiwan, Malaysia, mainland China, Philippines and other places with Chinese citizens.
What’s the year of the Monkey?
Each year of the Chinese New Year calendar is named after an animal. In 2016 the year of the monkey, which is the ninth of 12 animals in the zodiac will be celebrated. The order of the zodiac list is: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. After the 12-year cycle is completed, the list restarts.
The next time the Monkey will make an appearance will be in the year 2028. On January 28th, 2017, the year of the Rooster will be celebrated.
According to the Chinese zodiac, people who are born in the year of the Monkey are said to be clever, creative, curious and also mischievous. Celebrities born in the year of the Monkey are American actors Jennifer Aniston and Will Smith and British actor, Daniel Craig.
What to look out for in London for Chinese New Year 2016
According to chinatownlondon.org, celebrations from Trafalgar Square through the West End to Chinatown will take place on February 14th and run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
One of the largest parts of the Chinese New Year festivities is the parade (where lion teams perform in the streets) and the opening ceremony at Trafalgar Square, which feature the Dragon Dance and performances.
The first ever Magic Lantern Festival will run from February 3 to March 6 at the Chiswick House and Garden. There will be 50 life-size hand-sculpted lanterns that will be on display at the festival.
If you are searching for some authentic Chinese cuisine, goods and small arts, Chinatown is the place to head to during Chinese New Year.
Look out for the red diamond shaped ‘Fu’, one of the most popular decorations for the New Year. The ‘Fu’, is Chinese character which means luck and happiness. The character when it is turned upside down it means luck and happiness are coming.
Author: Jay Belmar
Sub-editor: Diana Odero