Hold on to to you hats, the year of the Dragon will be marked by excitement, unpredictability, exhilaration and intensity!
When: January 23rd 2012, February 10th 2013.
Where: China and Chinese communities worldwide.
Spring Festival (or Chinese New Year) can fall any time in late January and early February as it is based upon the Chinese lunar calendar (The first day of the first lunar month). It is the most important traditional festival in China and is celebrated grandly and extensively across the country.
In the days before New Year houses are cleaned and decorated with red decorations. Dust is associated with the “old” and is swept away to bring in the New Year. The colour red is as associated with good fortune and happiness in Chinese culture.
Just as the clock strikes 12 o’clock, beginning a new year on the Chinese lunar calendar, cities and towns are lit up with the sparkle of fireworks and the sound can be deafening. Families stay up for this joyful moment and kids with firecrackers in one hand and a lighter in another cheerfully celebrate by throwing the small explosives one by one into the street, whilst plugging their ears.
The first rising bell is a symbol of Chinese New Year. Chinese people go to large squares where there are huge bells set up on New Year’s Eve. As the New Year approaches they count down and celebrate together. People believe that the ringing of huge bell can drive all the bad luck away and bring fortune to them.
While the Year of the Rabbit (2011) was characterised by calm and tranquility, the Year of the Dragon will be marked by excitement, unpredictability, exhilaration and intensity. The Rabbit imparts a sense of cautious optimism, but the spirit of the Dragon gives energy, vitality and unbridled enthusiasm, often meaning all caution is thrown to the wind! Watch out, the Dragon is all about drama and you may come a cropper if you take unnecessary risks.
Have you celebrated Chinese New Year anywhere yourself? If so, please tell us all about it! You can share your pics and videos on our facebook page too! Or if you just want to say hi, or leave a comment for any other reason, we’d love to hear from you.
Food & Drink
The biggest event of any Chinese New Year’s Eve is the familly dinner, usually a dish consisting of fish is served. In northern China, it is customary to make dumplings (jiaozi) after dinner and have them around midnight. Dumplings symbolise wealth because their shape is like a Chinese tael coin or weight.
Traditionally most Chinese cuisine is mostly based on opposites, where sweet balances sour for example. Try our Hot and Spicy Crispy Beef. Drink Rice wine.
Travel to China
Dates / venues may be subject to change or cancellation. Distances may be straight-line estimates. Please verify information before booking.
Enjoy your trip! And when you’re home we’d love you to come back and tell us all about it!