If you missed it, then you missed out.
Renowned for being one of the biggest celebrations across the globe, Chinese New Year occurred on Monday 8th February this year and saw us say goodbye to the Year of Sheep and hello the Year of the Monkey. So, on Sunday 7th February, Chapter members left behind the previous year in style and welcomed in the New Year with a little celebration at Chapter Spitalfields.
If you’re wondering why the Chinese New Year is in February and not on 1st January, then let us enlighten you. The Chinese New Year is not based on the calendar you might find on your iPhone but on a lunisolar calendar, which is the traditional Chinese calendar. As the name suggests, a lunisolar calendar is based on the cycles of the moon and the sun, and the Chinese New Year is held on the day of the first moon of this calendar.
Another way in which it differs is that it can fall on a different date each year. This is due to the fact that a lunar month (the time between new moons) is roughly 2 days shorter than a solar month (one twelfth of the Earth’s orbit around the sun) so an extra month is added every few years in order to catch up. Although it may change each year, it always falls between 21st January and 20th February.
The other cool thing is that each year within the Chinese lunisolar calendar is represented by an animal, namely the 12 zodiac animals, and it is said that people possess certain traits of the animal of the year in which they were born. So anyone born in a Year of the Monkey will be intelligent, curios and just a little bit cheeky.
The best thing about the Chinese New Year though, is that it is one hell of a party. It’s actually a 7 day party in China as it’s a public holiday. Unfortunately, everyone in the UK had lectures, so we couldn’t do a 7 day celebration, but our chefs at Chapter Spitalfields put on a serious Chinese feast with dim sum, dumplings, spring rolls, bubble tea and of course some prosecco to toast the New Year. There was even a traditional Chinese dancing lion which put on an amazing show and brought a little piece of China right into the heart of Spitalfields.
Take a look at our video of the celebrations below:
The Chinese believe a good start to the year spent with friends and family will lead to a lucky year, so all that is left to say is Happy Year of the Monkey and we hope it’s a great one for all of you.