2018 is the ‘Year of the Dog’ according to the Chinese Calendar. According to this calendar, the new lunar year started this year on 16 February.
This Chinese calendar has 12 animals as zodiac signs and the zodiac sign changes every year. This year’s symbol is the dog.
Lunar New Year, also often referred to Chinese New Year, is celebrated in many countries around the world. Dragon dances, lion dances and fireworks ushered in the new year in many cities and lantern festivals will take place at the end of the festive period in March.
The Lunar New Year celebrations will last for 15 days and end with an lantern festival. During the festivities, people follow traditional customs such as eating ‘auspicious food’ or presenting ‘lucky gifts’ to their families and friends.
“Red and gold are popular colours and homes are decorated with big and bright ornaments. ”
Auspicious means bringing good luck and fortune. Many eat all kinds of fish and long noodles as well as special dumplings and cookies during the festivities as these foods are said to ensure good health, happiness, and prosperity in the new year.
Longevity, Happiness and Prosperity
People wish each other ‘A happy and prosperous new year’ and greet each other with the words ‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’ (pronounce it as Gong-she-faa-tsai) or ‘Gong Hey Fat choy’ (pronounce it as: Gong Hee Faat Choy)