Chinese New Year is right around the corner. Each year is represented by one of the 12 Chinese zodiacs. 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit, starting on January 22nd.
The tradition of Chinese New Year is a major celebration for the Chinese community, both in China and beyond. Cities like London embrace Chinese New Year with open arms. Anyone who takes a stroll through London’s China Town will see it decked out in red and gold for the New Year.
At SKYLENCE, we’re committed to sharing Chinese culture with our community across the UK and beyond. Explore the traditions of Chinese New Year and find out how you can take part in this year’s celebrations.
Chinese New Year Traditions
Chinese New Year, also known as ‘Lunar New Year’, is a 15-day celebration for the new year of the Chinese zodiac. It typically falls between January 21st and February 20th, with the date changing every year.
The celebration is rich in Chinese culture and mythology. One popular legend tells of the monster, Nian, attacking villagers at the dawn of each new year. The villagers would scare away the monster with the colour red, bright lights, and loud noise. This tradition evolved into a celebration of the new year, bringing good luck and prosperity into the new year as you say goodbye to the old.
We celebrate by gifting family members with money in red envelopes, while other traditions focus on honouring our dead relatives by offering sacrifices. The final event of Chinese New Year is the ‘Lantern Festival’ with a night-time parade that focuses on a long dragon procession with lanterns and dragons.
An easy Chinese New Year tradition to follow is to clean your house before New Year to get rid of any lingering bad luck from the previous year. Like all festivities, Chinese New Year involves a lot of food. New Year’s Eve is typically a time for family reunions with a dinner that includes fish, dumplings, and rice cake.
2023 is the Year of the Rabbit
The Chinese calendar focuses on 12 zodiacs, with each taking it in turn to represent the year. 2023 is the year of the rabbit. Previous years of the rabbit have included 2011, 1999, and 1987.
The Year of the Rabbit will run from January 22nd, 2023 (Chinese New Year) to February 9th, 2024 (Chinese New Year’s Eve). The zodiac sign often ties into the predictions for the year. Chinese culture considers the rabbit a symbol of peace, prosperity, and longevity – giving 2023 a theme of hope.
If you’re born during a year of the rabbit, you’re likely to be quick-minded, ingenious, vigilant, and witty. Your lucky numbers will include 3, 4, and 9, with your direction of love sitting in the East.
The rabbit is the yin in terms of yin and yang, and is widely associated with the early hours of the morning (5-7 am, in fact!). Chinese culture also views the rabbit as a representation of the moon.
2023 is a year we’re putting hope front and centre in the spirit of the rabbit. We hope you consider some of these traditions during this Chinese New Year to bring luck, prosperity, and good fortune into your life.
Happy Chinese New Year from all the team at SKYLENCE.