February may feel a little glum with cold, wet and windy weather, but only 39 days after the world welcomed 2016, a new New Year will begin. As a fifth of the world’s population celebrates the Chinese New Year and the zodiac calendar begins in February, this can only mean one thing… more parties.
London’s celebrations are expected to be the biggest outside of Asia and will begin on the 14th February with an exciting festival. Traditional dancers and acrobats will pass through Charing Cross Road and the West End before finishing in Chinatown.
2016 marks the year of the monkey, as these animals are believed to be witty, intelligent and have a magnetic personality, who would of thought it? The monkey represents the ninth animal in the 12 animal zodiac calendar and previous years of the monkey have included: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004.
Interestingly, the year of the monkey is believed to be unlucky for anyone who was born in the year of the monkey, as everything is meant to point to disaster (sorry). However, don’t fear if you’re a ‘monkey’ you can turn misfortune into luck by seeking the blessing of the lucky stars!
What’s more, the superstitions don’t stop with the year you were born, believe it or not the celebration has a few more myths…
During the festivities, you may want to store your trusty black jeans and crispy white shirts away for a few weeks, as people don’t wear monochrome outfits. This is due to the colours black and white being perceived as the colours of mourning.
Like most celebrations, it is common to have a ‘spring clean’ before the festivities really kick off and the Chinese New Year is no different. However, if you’re thinking of having a little clear up the day after, you might want to think again. It is thought that sweeping or cleaning on New Year’s Day can be a sign of sweeping away your wealth, and no one wants to do that!
Finally, if you normally start the day with a hearty bowl of porridge, perhaps give it a miss during the New Year. According to superstitions, eating porridge on New Year’s Day is extremely bad luck as it is seen as a poor mans breakfast and can diminish any wealth. Maybe stick to corn flakes for that week?
Apart from the myths and superstitions, the New Year celebrations officially begin on 8th February and last for 15 days with an array of dancers, acrobats, fireworks and of course, spectacular food, and we can’t wait!