Sunday 22nd January is Chinese New Year – the festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional lunisolar and solar Chinese calendar.
2023 will be the Year of the Rabbit, a symbol of longevity, peace and prosperity in Chinese culture, meaning this year is predicted to be a year of hope.
Starting on the 22nd, there will be a 16-day long festival to welcome in the New Year, each day of which has a name and is usually assigned a purpose or meaning.
The celebrations will conclude on 5th February with the Lantern Festival which is used to mark the end of the festival. Lanterns are lit and hung or flown, people gather to watch dragon dances in the streets, and children answer lantern riddles.
The date of Chinese New Year actually changes every year, but it always falls between January 21st and February 20th. The day of the Chinese New Year is a new moon day, usually the second after the winter solstice. The date is decided by the Chinese Lunar Calendar, which is based on the cycles of the moon and sun and is generally 21-51 days behind the Gregorian (internationally-used) calendar.
As the celebrations take place to symbolise the closing of the old year and welcome luck and prosperity to the new one, may the Year of the Rabbit bring you all what we might have lacked in 2022; peace and success!