Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, starts this week, with celebrations lasting up to two weeks. The New Year is based on the lunar calendar and therefore varies each year; this year, the Year of The Dog – the Chinese zodiac features 12 animals, and each year is associated with one of them – officially begins on Friday February 16, 2018. Find out more about the Chinese zodiac animals and discover which animal your birth year is associated with.
People born during the Year of the Dog are believed to be blessed with some of the animal’s characteristic traits, such as loyalty.
In China, many people have a week’s holiday to mark the start of the new year. The start of a new year is also celebrated around this time by other countries including Korea, Cambodia, Vietnam and Australia.
There are many long-standing traditions associated with Chinese New Year, and great events held to mark the occasion. Here are some ways you can get involved, and learn more about Chinese traditions.
Chinese New Year is a popular celebration around Australia. See what events are happening in your suburb. If there aren’t many local events near you for Chinese New Year but you are interested in some more national events, these can be found here. There are lots of demonstrations, workshops, light displays and performances to choose from - great to take the entire family to. Below are some examples of national events you might be interested in:
Sydney – the streets are coming alive in Sydney with more than 1 million people expected to attend the 80 events celebrating Chinese New Year, including three weekends of performances in Darling Harbour and the Chinese New Year festival in Chinatown.
Melbourne – experience the Chinese Lion Dance, Firecrackers, Traditional Folk Music, Dancers and Martial Artists in Melbourne CBD and local suburbs. Look for big celebrations in Federation Square and Chinatown.
Perth – Enjoy live music and lion dancing at the Stirling Farmers Market. Stock up on fresh and local produce.
Connecting with others
Chinese New Year is a great time to connect with other cultures in our neighbourhoods and experience different traditions. With many nationalities coming to live in Australia, it may be hard for some new arrivals to adjust, so it’s also a great time to reach out to newer neighbours.
If eating is one of your favourite things to do and you are a fan of Chinese food, try one of the seven lucky dishes served during the celebrations. Whether you’ve got a favourite noodle house or there’s an Asian eatery you’ve been thinking of trying, why not visit a local restaurant and make recommendations to your neighbours if you had a good experience?
It’s also a great time to try new recipes if you are keen cook – now would be a great time to learn how to make dumplings (one of those seven lucky foods – it represents wealth) or whip up some noodles (happiness and longevity).
Wherever you choose to celebrate, we wish you a Happy Chinese New Year!