WHEN IS IT? AND WHY IS IT DIFFERENT?

Chinese New Year in 2019 is on Tuesday, February 5.

The Year of the Pig is also associated with luck in the hours of 9–11pm, and the animal itself is associated with wealth.

The Chinese New Year brings with it fireworks and impressive lantern displays.

But when is it celebrated in 2019, which zodiac comes into prominence, and what does it mean for the year ahead?

The Pig is the 12th zodiac animal.

According to Chinese mythology, the Jade Emperor set the order of the zodiac by which animal arrived to his party.

The pig overslept, leading to him turning up late.

‘It’s Lunar New Year, day 1 of China’s lunar calendar, which is within a day of the second new moon before the spring equinox moon phase. It’s oddly called Spring Festival, with it being in winter for most of China, but that’s because it “looks forward to spring”.

Chinese New Year is an ancient holiday. Most of its traditions date back  thousands of years. But, as times change, it’s not surprising that new traditions are formed. The most prominent is the Chinese New Year Gala (Chinese full name: 中央电视台春节联欢晚会—zhōng yāng diàn shì tái chūn jiē lián huān wǎn huì).

This televised variety show is broadcasted by China Central Television (CCTV). Also known as the Spring Festival Gala or Chunwan (春晚—Chūnwǎn), it is one of the premier TV events in China. It is popular in diaspora Chinese communities as well and the gala makes it a point to include them in the show.

The Chinese New Year holiday comes to its climax with the Yuan Xiao (元宵节—yuán xiāo jié), or Lantern Festival.

Begun moree than 2,000 years ago, the festival has developed many meanings. It celebrates family reunions and society. It features ancient spiritual traditions. Some also call this the “true” Chinese Valentine’s Day.

The many activities include moon gazing, lighting lanterns, riddles, lion dances and eating rice balls.

CHINATOWN BANGKOK

Chinese New Year in Bangkok is probably one of the best celebrations of Chinese New Year outside China.

The Yaowarat road of Bangkok Chinatown is filled and decorated with red and gold colors, lanterns and cherry blossoms. These decorations remain there for all the 15 days.

The main day of Chinese Year sees shutting down of traffic on Chinatown road. The traffic is blocked as large crowds gather together to celebrate.