Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year began on
10 February 2013. This marked the start of the current Year of the Snake, 4711 on the Chinese Calendar.
The date of the next Chinese New Year will be 31 January 2014 when it will be the Year of the Horse.
Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival.
Chinese New Year is the main Chinese festival of the year and it is not a
religious event. We explain some of the traditions and stories linked to
As the Chinese use the Lunar calendar for their festivals the date of
Chinese New Year changes from year to year. The date corresponds to the
new moon (black moon) in either late January or February. Traditionally
celebrations last for fifteen days, ending on the date of the full moon.
In China the public holiday lasts for three days and this is the biggest
celebration of the year.
The Year of the Snake
The Chinese calendar is different from that used in the United Kingdom.
It is made up of a cycle of twelve years, each of them being named after
an animal. This is very like our signs of the zodiac. Some people believe
that people born in a particular year such as the year of the Dog will have
some of the characteristics of that animal.
To find out which animals make up the Chinese zodiac and which one you
are supposed to be like, click here and put
in your birthday.
There are several legends about how animal names were chosen for the
years. Read one of the stories here.
Over a sixth of the people in the world celebrate Chinese New Year. Customs
vary in different parts of the world, but everywhere the main idea is the
same. It is a time to remember the family and wish everyone peace and
prosperity in the coming year. Find out more about the