When is Chinese New Year 2022?Lunar dates, zodiac animals including tigers, fun activities and food explanations
With food, acrobatic parades and fireworks, Chinese New Year 2022 may be the post-Omicron celebration we all need
Chinese New Year starts in just a few days (Image: Shutterstock)
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Therefore, Chinese New Year 2022 is the ideal time to lift your spirits.
Marking the start of the Lunar New Year, it’s basically the Chinese equivalent of Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s Day wrapped into one big festival lasting more than two weeks.
So when is Chinese New Year 2022, what animal is in the zodiac this year – what activities and food can you expect at this time of year?
Here’s what you need to know.
London’s Chinatown and Trafalgar Square are often at the centre of UK Lunar New Year celebrations (Image: AFP/Getty Images)
When is Chinese New Year?
Chinese New Year 2022 is scheduled for Tuesday 1st February.
We celebrated the solar year almost a month ago, but the lunar year is not over yet.
In fact, it runs from February 12, 2021 until Monday, January 31, 2022.
(Photo: Mark Hall/NationalWorld)
While the Gregorian calendar is popular and legally used in most parts of the world, many people in China and Southeast Asia follow a more traditional lunar calendar.
The solar calendar is based on the Earth orbiting the sun, while the lunar calendar determines time based on the phases of the moon.
This means that months tend to be 29 or 30 days long, and years are 11 to 12 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar.
While this may seem like a very foreign concept, most cultures around the world have used the lunar calendar at some point in their history.
Even the Gregorian calendar, which is now commonly used after its introduction to Europe nearly 450 years ago, has its origins in the lunar cycle.
Parades celebrating Chinese culture are often held around the world during Chinese New Year (Image: Getty Images)
What animal will be in Chinese New Year 2022?
Every new year introduces another animal from the Chinese zodiac and its attributes.
The system is thought to have been installed during a time when animal worship was widely practiced in China.
The zodiac system has been around for about 2,000 years and remains at the heart of Chinese culture.
In China, many people use it to decide their fortunes this year, and even who they should marry.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is unclear how large the celebration will be this year (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
There are 12 animals in total:
2022 will be the Year of the Tiger.
This means that people born this year will have tiger characteristics.
- dynamism and ambition
- bravery and courage
- Enthusiasm and generosity
- A sense of justice and a commitment to helping others for the greater good
How is Chinese New Year marked?
Chinese New Year celebrations have four main elements:
- Junior: Held a week before Chinese New Year, it is a day of remembrance and prayer
- New Year’s Eve: A day of reunion and gift giving
- Spring Festival (11 days): A festival of family activities, prayers and feasts
- Lantern Festival (5 days): Celebrates family reunion and society, and also includes the Chinese equivalent of Valentine’s Day.Chinese commemorate the event by making lanterns and lighting them
Each day during this period involved different activities and saw different food and drink consumption.
For example, on the first day of the new year, firecrackers are set off, and people are watching their fortunes for the coming year.
Chinese lanterns are erected during the Lantern Festival as part of New Year’s celebrations (Image: AFP/Getty Images)
Typical foods at all these events include spring rolls, dumplings, noodles, steamed fish or chicken, and rice cakes.
Chinese New Year is also celebrated around the world.
Celebrations take place in towns and cities across the UK, but the centre of the festivities is in London, which is home to one of the biggest parties outside of China.
In Chinatown and Trafalgar Square, you can watch parades featuring traditional Chinese lions and tigers, acrobatics, speeches, traditional food and drink, and firecrackers.
How to say happy new year in Chinese
There are two main languages in China – Mandarin (mainly spoken in the mainland) and Cantonese (mainly spoken in and around Hong Kong).
Both languages use three different phrases to wish someone a happy new year.
- ‘Xīnnián hǎo’ directly translates to ‘Happy New Year’
Mandarin: Happy New Year or “sshin-nyen haoww”
Cantonese: Happy New Year or “sen-nin haow”
- “Gōngxǐ fācái” means “happiness and prosperity” in English
Mandarin: Gong Xi Fa Cai or “gong-sshee faa-tseye”
Cantonese: Gong Xi Fa Cai or “gong-hey faa-chwhy”
- ‘Bùbù gāoshēng’ translates to English as ‘on up and up’
Mandarin: step by step or “boo-boo gaoww-shnng”
Cantonese: step by step or “boh-boh goh-sshi”
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