It could be described as the biggest celebration on the planet and each year there’s an epic travel rush as people make their way home. In fact, Chinese New Year, locally known as chunyun, is the largest human migration in the world. Unlike our New Year festivities, which see us waking up to a new dawn every 1 January, the Chinese version is a movable celebration as it is based on the lunar calendar, so it can fall anytime between January 21 and February 20.
This year, one of the most thrilling and colourful events in China and across the world kicks off on 16 February. And with Chinese New Year or Spring Festival (as it is also known) lasting over two weeks, it’s time to get planning. Whether you’re celebrating locally, in a China Town in one of the world’s great cities, in China itself or one of the fascinating countries where it is recognised, like Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia, we can all agree there’s nothing quite like it.
Some New Year Traditions:
Celebrations around the world burst with light, colour and sound, including bell ringing, lighting firecrackers and watching traditional lion dances.
As well as gathering for a culinary feast on New Year's Eve, families clean their houses to sweep away bad luck on New Year's Day.
Traditionally, children would be given red envelopes filled with 'lucky money' and positive wishes on New Year's Day. These days, teens have red envelope apps so family members can transfer cash digitally.
For décor, paper cuts are used to create intricate displays, usually on windows as the light shines through and shows the details of the designs. Chinese calligraphy, with words like “good fortune,” “happiness,” “health,” and “longevity,” is also posted on doors and windows to evoke such blessings for the coming year.
The Year Of The Dog
As Chinese astrology determines, each year is related to a Chinese zodiac animal according to a 12-year cycle. So 2018 happens to be Year of the Dog, actually to be more precise it’s Year of the Earth Dog, because although each of the 12 animals come around every dozen years, there are different types. Interestingly, the last time Year of the Earth Dog was celebrated was in 1958.
3 Fast Facts
Amazingly, Chinese New Year has over 4,000 years of history.
The Year of the Dog is associated with the Earthly Branch symbol 戌 and Yang energy.
Last year, Chinese citizens racked up around 3 billion trips during the holiday, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.
Year of the Dog Personalities
According to Asian astrology, your birth year and the animal this represents says a lot about your personality. As you most probably guessed, a dog’s most significant characteristic is their loyalty, and they will always be there for their family, friends and colleagues. They are also honest, fair and willing to sit and offer help and advice, which all makes them popular. Plus, they can be instrumental in helping others surmount bad habits.
Despite their outward confidence, people born in the Year of the Dog do get apprehensive and nervous, yet they keep it bottled inside. However, despite this, once they have made a decision, they forge ahead and no one can stop them.
Those born in the Year of the Earth Dog are very forthcoming, serious-minded and responsible in their jobs.
Lucky things for Dogs
Colours: Green, red, purple
Numbers: 3, 4, 9
Previous years: 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, and 2018
Celebrities born in the Year of The Dog: Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Madonna, Ellen DeGeneres and Uma Thurman
Sartorially sass your way through Chinese New Year
However you’re celebrating Chinese New Year, these pieces will surely help you up your sartorial game:
Loewe 'Hammock' bag for the 'Chinese New Year' collection with a festive fireworks print with flashes of pink, gold and red
Diesel 'Bold Diesel Dog' capsule collection tag necklace
Saint Noir pug T-Shirt at Virgin Megastore