Happy Chinese New Year!

The Year of the Water Tiger

Tuesday 1st February saw the beginning of the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Tiger.  The cycle of the moon dictates the date which is different each year.  Chinese New Year is the longest celebration in China- lasting 15 days!  Tigers are a symbol of power in China and considered brave, cruel and forceful.

Origin and Myth

The Nian Monster

The celebration has a history of over 3000 years and is heavily steeped in myth and legend.  Legend has it that a mythical beast called Nian would show up every New Year’s Eve to eat villagers and livestock.  Red decorations were displayed and candles were lit in order to keep the beats at bay!

Chinese Zodiac Signs

1 of 12 animals, each with their own characteristics, represent each year.

The animals include:

  • rat
  • ox
  • tiger
  • rabbit
  • dragon
  • snake
  • horse
  • goat
  • monkey
  • rooster
  • dog
  • pig

Traditions & Celebrations

Family and friends stay up late to celebrate the New Year.  Children are given red packets of sweets and adults say kind words to each other.

Houses are cleaned to ward off bad luck and then decorated with red scrolls and lanterns. Lost ancestors are remembered and offered sacrifices of food.

People also observe dragon parades which include singing and acting.

If your child likes to sing, dance, act and take part in musical theatre, please click here.

Sarah Watson- Dramacube