If you’re excited about New Year’s Eve and it’s incredible fireworks displays, there’s good news. You get to do it all over again at the end of January, as it’ll be time for Chinese New Year.
The start of the new lunar and solar calendar is often a bigger celebration than New Year’s Eve at the end of December, as fireworks and festivities take place all over the country. It’s a huge festival celebrated amongst Chinese communities in major cities such as London and Manchester, and in towns and cities across the world.
This year, Chinese New Year takes place on Saturday 28th January 2017. This means that there’s just enough time to start planning where to go and watch the fireworks. The celebration also includes parades, performances and opportunities to share food with friends and family – but fireworks are very much at the heart of the occasion. China has a rich history when it comes to fireworks and is widely believed to have invented them. The very earliest documentation of fireworks as we know them today dates back to the 7th century, during China’s Tang Dynasty. Fireworks were used to accompany festivities and have become engrained in China’s culture ever since.
The Year of the Rooster
Each year in the Chinese calendar is represented by one of the 12 animals in the zodiac. 2016 was the Year of the Monkey, while 2017 will usher in the Year of the Rooster. The 10th sign and only bird in the zodiac, the rooster will this coming year be a Fire Rooster. Each year has its own heavenly branch of zodiac animal and when the Year of the Rooster comes again in 2029, it will be an Earth Rooster.
If you’re organising your own display for Chinese New Year, this could be a useful hint for what colours to go for. Reds, yellows, whites and golds could all be excellent choices as part of a ‘rooster’ themed display. Look out for these colours if you’re heading to a local display.
Where to enjoy Chinese NY fireworks
Many cities in the UK celebrate Chinese New Year, particularly those with large Chinese communities. These events have become highlights of the cultural calendar, with colourful, exciting celebrations going on for days. In London, for example, free events take place in Trafalgar Square, Chinatown and the West End. A parade with astonishing floats and exhibitions will snake its way through the West End, while stage performances of dance troupes, acrobats, martial arts and even flying dragon dances will wow crowds in Trafalgar Square. The grand finale is of course a spectacular fireworks show.
If you’re celebrating Chinese New Year with friends or family, you can of course throw your own private fireworks party to see in the new year. With some well-chosen fireworks and a few safety lessons, you can celebrate with your loved ones in style – just make sure you warn the neighbours first!