Chinese New Year 2024: Year of the Dragon, traditions and celebrations
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Were you born in the year of the pig or the dragon?
Everyone likes to find out which Chinese zodiac sign they belong to and as we count down to the beginning of the Chinese New Year, we take a look at some of the history behind the event.
Chinese New Year celebrations will begin on Saturday, February 10, welcoming the Year of the Dragon.
The celebrations will last for two weeks, marking the beginning of a new Lunar year.
Traditional events will take place across the country to celebrate the occasion and the Chinese community in the UK.
A festival or parade will usually take place, as we celebrate Chinese culture. Lion and dragon dances are always a main focus of these events, as they are known as “Lucky Mascots”, providing luck to those who see them for the year to come.
Other events may include temple fairs, flower market shopping and lantern decorating, alongside many more celebratory activities.
Chinese New Year has many long-standing traditions, with a main focus on removing the bad and the old to make way for a new year. It is also an important time to celebrate families, coming together for a celebratory meal on New Year’s Eve and remembering ancestors.
Some traditions for Chinese New Year include those living outside of the country returning home for a family reunion, burning incense to worship their ancestors, giving youngsters good luck pocket money in a red envelope and decorating their homes for the occasion with red lanterns and other decorations.
The Chinese zodiac is also a very important part of Chinese culture, based on the Chinese calendar where an animal is assigned to each year in a repeating pattern in a 12-year cycle.
The animals included in the Chinese zodiac are; mouse, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
This year marks the Year of the Dragon, which is associated with strength, positive transformation and challenges.