Chinese New Year Abroad: How It Is Celebrated In the Centre Of Europe

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Prague welcomed the Chinese New Year this weekend, and we would like to share with you the atmosphere that reigned there.

Chinese New Year is the most important holiday of the year in China, and also in Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, and everywhere where there is a significant Chinese population. The celebration has spread even further in recent years and has also become popular in America and Europe, where it co-exists with local traditions.  The celebration of the Chinese New Year lasts several days and is an occasion for spending time with family members, and also a time for respecting tradition to ensure that the coming year will bring happiness, health, and wealth.

The Chinese Zodiac is calculated in sixty-year cycles during which twelve zodiac animals are combined with five elements (water, wood, fire, earth, and metal – 12 animals x 5 elements = 60 years).  The lunar New Year begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice and is also celebrated as a spring holiday.

This year belongs to the fiery monkey. The monkey is smart and energetic, also easily adaptable, but selfish and moody, too.  Those characteristics will be intensified during the coming year by the element of fire. So what will the new year be like?

The celebrations in Prague attracted thousands and due to security some of the people could not be allowed to enter.

The performers from Beijing and the Hebei Province did an excellent job. The show included the Lion dance, Chinese violin, acrobatics and a performance by a clown.

Combined with this was an exhibition of traditional Chinese crafts, caligraphy and for the children there was face painting.

The food was good and comprised traditional Chinese and Czech cusine. One of the stalls also offered beer tasting.

The traditional lanterns were in the form of figures from the Terakota army.

The event concluded with a fireworks show.

Photos: Martina Advaney

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