Chinese New Year: When is it, what animal will it be, how is it celebrated in the UK and what Chinese zodiac animal am I?
CHINESE New Year celebrations will soon be underway across the world.
Chinese New Year is also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival and is China's most important festival of the year.
Celebrations tend to last for around two weeks and there are 12 Chinese zodiac animals which mark every New Year, who are each linked to certain elements and characteristics.
The zodiac animals rotate every 12 months and in 2021, the Chinese New Year was named the 'Year of the Ox'.
Here is everything you need to know about Chinese New Year 2022:
When is Chinese New Year 2022?
Chinese New Year will be celebrated on February 1 this year.
In China, festivities last for 16 days, starting on the eve of the New Year and concluding on the 15th Day.
On the 15th Day, the Yuan Xiao Festival takes place where thousands of attendees light paper lanterns and release them into the sky.
The first week of Chinese New Year (February 1 to February 7) will be a national public holiday in China.
What animal will mark the Chinese New Year 2022?
2022 will be the Year of the Tiger, which is the second of the 12-year cycle of animals in Chinese astrology.
In China, the Tiger is known as the king of all animals and the zodiac sign for a tiger is a symbol of strength, braveness, and exorcising evils.
What are the 12 zodiac animals?
The 12 Chinese zodiac animals are assigned in cycles of 12 years so for example, 2020 was the Year of the Rat alongside 2008,1996 and so on.
The 12 animals are:
Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.
This cycle of animals is based on an old folk tale named 'the Great Race' which saw the animals compete against each other to reach the Jade Emperor.
The order that they completed the race is the order in which the years are named.
In the story, the Rat won the race by catching a ride on the back of the Ox before jumping off of its back at the last minute.
This means that the Ox came second and the others followed, with the pig in last place.
What Chinese zodiac animal am I?
To work out your Chinese zodiac animal, simply count through the list above.
We are currently on the third cycle of animals which is the Tiger, which last fell in 2010, 1986,1974, and so on.
In 2023, the Year of the Rabbit will take place and the zodiac animals will carry on throughout the cycle.
How is Chinese New Year celebrated in the UK?
Chinese communities around the UK will hold many parades and public celebrations close to the first day of the New Year.
The celebrations will include lion dances in city centres, performances of traditional Chinese dance and often plenty of fireworks to light up the night sky.
Young people are given money in colourful red envelopes and the New Year will be a time to host feasts and visit family.