The start of the lunar year begins in February, and millions of people across the world will be gathering with family to get out the firecrackers and celebrate Chinese New Year .
Today denotes the beginning of the Year of the Dog, defined by the Chinese zodiac cycle.
The day is traditionally marked with the giving of gifts and celebrations with family, as well as looking to what the sign of the Rooster will mean for the year ahead.
Here's everything you need to know about Chinese New Year.
When is Chinese New Year and why does the date change every year?
The Year of the Dog begins on February 16, 2018.
Celebrations will last until March 2nd - about 15 days in total - making this the longest holiday in the Chinese calendar.
Chinese New Year takes place on a different date every year, because it is based on the lunar calendar.
In this calendar a month is two days shorter than in the solar calendar so to make up for it an extra month is added every few years.
The lunar calendar means the celebration always falls on a different date - unlike the January 1 New Year we are used to, based on the Gregorian calendar.
But Chinese New Year always falls between the end of January and mid-February.
Each year is denoted by a different symbol from the Chinese 12 year animal zodiac, with this year being matched to the tenth sign. Last year was the Year of the Goat.
How long does Chinese New Year last?
The celebrations, also known as Spring Festival, start on the 23rd day of the Lunar months and lasts for about 23 days - ending on the 15days of the first lunar month in the following year of the Chinese calendar.
What animal represents this year?
The Chinese calendar assign different animals from the zodiac to each lunar year in a cycle of 12 years.
This year is the Year of the Dog, while last year it was the Rooster.
For people born in a dog year - 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 - you're apparently set to have an unlucky time because tradition denotes that the year of your birth makes for an unlucky 12 months.
Dogs are the eleventh sign in the zodiac and are seen as independent, sincere, loyal and decisive, who aren't afraid of difficulties in life. Due to these characteristics they also enjoy harmonious relationships with those around them.
Chinese New Year facts
The date changes every year
It is called the Spring Festival
It lasts 15 days until the Lantern Festival
One sixth of the world's people celebrate it
It's the longest public holiday
It's also the largest annual usage of fireworks on the planet
Guo Nian Hao is one of the most used Chinese New Year greetings
Kids are especially happy to show their beautiful new clothes to their little friends and others.
Kids also get red envelopes instead of gifts, they're stuffed with lucky money from family.
The most famous festival food are dumplings.
It's also like a national birthday - everyone gets a year older.
Happy Chinese New Year greetings
狗年吉祥 gǒunián jíxiáng Good luck for this Dog year
狗年大吉 gǒunián dàjí Lots of luck for this Dog year
新年好 Xīnnián hǎo Happy New Year
吉星高照 Jíxīng gāozhào Fortune will smile on you ('lucky star high shines')
身体健康 Shēntǐ jiànkāng Enjoy good health
For more greetings take a look here .
How do you say Happy Chinese New Year in Chinese?
It's not Gong hei fat choy - that's actually a wish for prosperity.
xin nian (new year) kuai le (happy) in Mandarin.
Pronounced like: shin nee-an kwai le
For family say xin nian (New Year) hao (good).
How is Chinese New Year celebrated?
Chinese New Year is celebrated with the ringing of bells, the lighting of firecrackers and watching traditional lion dances.
In China New Year's Eve is seen as an important date, with families gathering together for a reunion dinner. Firecrackers are then let off to signal the end of last year and the beginning of next.
On New Year's Day, families gather, clean their houses and sweep away bad-fortune.
Red envelopes stuffed with "lucky money" are given to children, along with written wishes for their kids to grow up healthy.
However Chinese New Year has also been touched by the digital age, with red envelope apps - where people can exchange cyber money - being launched.
People also decorate their houses with red paper cutouts, banners and special New Year paintings during the festive period. This year is also likely to see dog themed decorations.
Chinese New Year 2018
Who celebrates Chinese New Year?
Lunar New Year is celebrated in other Asian countries and territories, including Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Mauritius, Australia, and the Philippines.
How to celebrate Chinese New Year
From London's famous parade to huge celebrations in Manchester and Newscastle, here's how to celebrate the Year of the Rooster where you live.
Chinese New Year activities in London
Over 700,000 people flock to celebrate Chinese New Year in London, making their festivities the largest outside of Asia.
The biggest celebrations will take place on Friday 16th February in Trafalgar Square, Chinatown and across the West End, and while no other details have been released yet, it's predicted to be free to attend.
Last year, a colourful parade that snaked from Charing Cross Road to Shaftesbury Avenue kicked off, with the lively display including dragon dancers, vibrant, hand-crafted floats and martial arts - all led by a flying Chinese lion.
Chinese New Year activities in Manchester
Manchester will also be hosting celebrations on Friday 16th February, with festivities set to include thousands of red lanterns, Chinese craft workshops in the Arndale centre and a Chinese food pop up market in St Ann's square, according to the Manchester Evening News.
Chinese New Year activities in Birmingham
In Birmingham, there's plenty of free celebrations occurring, including a massive street party in the city's Chinese Quarter.
Activities are set to include lion dancing, a fire act, acrobatics, traditional lantern making, street food and funfair rides, as reported by the Birmingham Mail.
Chinese New Year activities in Liverpool
Last year, Liverpool's celebrations seemed to be the most unique of the lot, showcasing a special Chinese New Year lumiere event complete with projections, as well as a specially-created augmented reality trail, on top of the usual street performances and parades.
This year, we're expecting just as much excitement, with festivities set to span across the whole weekend, as reported by the Liverpool Echo.
Chinese New Year activities in Newcastle
Newcastle's Chinese New Year is set to be bigger than ever, following a crowd-funding effort that raised £10,000 to put towards the annual carnival.
As well as a carnival weaving through the city complete with vibrant dancers and drummers, there will also be a stage area with performers, with the traditional event becoming a fixture in the city's cultural calendar, according to the Chronicle Live.
Food deals for staying in on Chinese New Year
Supermarkets and takeaways are celebrating the colourful event with Chinese-themed meal deals for food lovers all over the country to indulge in.
While no offers have been released yet, we'll keep our eye out for any meal deals or major discounts at supermarkets that you can pick up to celebrate the Chinese New Year in style.
If you'd rather get a takeaway, cashback site TopCashback has a deal on that offers all new members that sign up to its free site a free £15 to spend on Just Eat - and it applies to curry, chinese and pizza.
- Sign up to TopCashback, for free
- Follow the link on the TopCashback 'Free £15 takeaway at Just Eat' to order your free food like usual from Just Eat
- TopCashback will reimburse you the £15 cost within two weeks, which you can then transfer into your bank account
The offer is available to all new members to the cashback site, from now until the 18th February 2018. You can read the full terms and conditions here.
If you want something a little more suited to the occasion, Deliveroo will always be offering traditional dishes all year round.
Chinese New Year Celebrations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Michael Oon | Travel | No comment
Chinese New Year Decorations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
We spent the second week of the Chinese New Year celebrations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This celebration lasts for 15 days. The start of the Chinese New Year is on first day of the lunar month at the beginning of the new year based on the solar calendar. It ends of the 15th day of the lunar month with the night of the full moon. The year 2016, is the year of the fire Monkey. We had come to Kuala Lumpur to see our friends and relatives as part of the Chinese New Year celebrations. This travel article is about the 2nd week of our Chinese New Year celebrations in Kuala Lumpur.
Chinese New Year Celebration Decorations
Kuala Lumpur is the multi-racial Capital city of Malaysia. There are 4 distinct groups – Malays, Chinese, Indian and indigenous groups. The Chinese population is a significant proportion and the celebrations are held widely. It is very different from London where the Chinese population is one of many races and a much smaller proportion. The main roads had Chinese New Year celebration decorations. The areas like Chinatown, temples and shopping centres were festooned with red decorations which are to energise the good luck for the coming New Year.
Probably, the most interesting celebration decorations in Kuala Lumpur were at Pavilion Shopping Mall. The decorations tell the Chinese story of the monkey king stealing the Peach of immortality from Heaven. The other symbols in the festive decorations are for good health (long life) and auspicious prosperity.
The Main entrance of the Pavilion Shopping Mall in Kuala Lumpur. It is bedecked with red Chinese lanterns with a floral arch of Chinese Peach and Chinese Plum Blossoms Trees.
Detail of the Chinese Plum Blossom Tree with a red Chinese lantern .
The Monkey carrying the Chinese gold coin and the Chinese peach is the centre piece of the Chinese New Year Celebrations in the Pavilion Shopping Mall. It is huge, about 10 metres in height. Beneath the monkey are the peonies and more Chinese peaches. Peonies are the Chinese symbol of love and harmony. Chinese peaches are the symbol of good health. Chinese Coins and gold nuggets are symbols of good fortune.
Visiting Friends and Family as part of the Chinese New Year Celebrations.
The other part of the Chinese New Year Celebrations is the meeting of friends and family. We literally had dinners every night and it was hectic. The pièce de résistance was an event on the 15th day of the New Year – Chap Goh Mei. Not only was there a lavish dinner, there was the lion dance with the monkey to usher in auspicious energy for the New Year.
The year 2016 is of the fire Monkey. The Monkey is preparing himself for the festivities at Chris and Jennifer’s Chinese New Year Celebration party.
The monkey is now briefing the Chinese lions for the dance to bring in the auspicious energy of the Chinese New Year.
The Chinese Lions are preparing to carry the tray of good fortune for the house owners. The tray holds the pineapple (king of fruits), lettuce (food for the dragon), gold nuggets and oranges (symbols of wealth).
The presentation of the tray of good fortune by the Chinese lions to Chris and Jennifer.
A photo call of the the hosts Chris and Jennifer with the monkey, Chinese lions and 2 mini lions.
Food as part of the Chinese New Year Celebrations
Helen, as part of a group tossing the Yee Shan dish and raising a chorus of “Lo Hai” for good fortune.
The Chinese New Year Celebrations in Kuala Lumpur is different from London. Kuala Lumpur has a higher proportion of Chinese and the celebrations become more conspicuous. Also, the private celebrations are more lavish in both the restaurants and in their homes.
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