Chinese New Year 2020, otherwise known as the Spring Festival (Lunar New Year), begins this Saturday, January 25th. Each year is represented by an animal, and this year, it is the Year of the Rat.
So, what does the rat symbolise? It is the first of the zodiac animals in the 12-year cycle and symbolises the beginning of a new day and wealth. Here are some fun facts about Chinese New Year:
- The date actually changes every year. It usually falls between January 21st and February 20th and is determined by the Chinese lunar calendar.
- Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival is celebrated for 16 days until the Lantern Festival. On the evening of the 15th day (which will be February 8th, 2020), it is tradition to moon-gaze and release lanterns into the sky, spend time with family and of course, eat. It is also a big night for fireworks. In fact, the world's largest fireworks usage is thanks to Chinese New Year!
- There are many superstitions during the Chinese New Year. No sweeping, cleaning, using sharp objects, odd amounts of money and hospital visits are allowed during new year period.
- Certain foods are consumed during the new year period, for instance, dumplings and fish. Dumplings are said to represent wealth, whereas fish in Chinese sounds like the word, 'surplus'. Certain fruits are also eaten during this time, such as oranges and tangerines. Their shape and colour symbolise wealth and fullness.
To celebrate Chinese New Year 2020, Sydney is hosting many events and festivals. If you're thinking of venturing into Chinatown to celebrate, we recommended checking out the Lunar Lanes - Haymarket Street Party. The streets surrounding the market will be buzzing with live entertainment, roving characters, carnival games, kids craft activities, and of course, delicious food. You can even snap a selfie with the 2.8-metre tall gold rat lantern.
The event will run on Saturday 25th January, from 5 pm to 10 pm. Come and join the festivities!