YEAR OF THE BROWN EARTH DOG: CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS IN MADRID AND AROUND THE WORLD

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Year of the Brown Dog

 

A GUIDEPOST Report

Chinese New Year celebrations are becoming quite popular in Madrid where the Chinese are making their presence felt at a virtiginous speed.

The suburb of Usera, Plaza de España and the Chinese Cultural Center are at the epicenter of the celebrations. Activities are organized by various sponsors, community organizations, the Chinese Embassy, the Confucius Institute, and the Chinese Cultural Center among others.

Chinese New Year celebrations at Plaza España, Madrid

The celebrations  go on for over two weeks, with the main festivities held during Chinese New Year’s Day or a subsequent weekend.

Kids specially enjoy the open air events which typically include the lion dances, Kung Fu exhibitions, and the Dragon Parade. There are a market with traditional handicrafts, concerts, workshops, food events, etc.

Like in previous years, here’s what you may expect at Year of the Brown Dog festival in Madrid:
Chinese New Year Fair and Parade in Usera
Chinese New Year Fair at Plaza de España
Chinese Gastronomic Feast, Concerts, Workshops, and Exhibitions at the Chinese Cultural Center
Chinese New Year Gala

The Chinese New Year, a.k.a. Spring Festival, which this year is the Year of the Brown Dog, is the 4715th Chinese year. This major festivity is celebrated around the world, coinciding with the start of the crop cycle, and marking the end of winter.

7 CHINESE NEW YEAR FUN FACTS

1) In 2018 the Chinese New Year holiday is from February 15th to 21st. It’s the Year of the Brown Earth Dog.

2) Chinese New Year is movable. It follows the lunar calendar which is based on the movement of the moon. It usually occurs between mid-January and mid-February.

3) The Chinese New Year Festival is also called the Spring Festival because it usually falls at the beginning of Spring.

4) New Year is the longest public holiday in China. Most employees have 7-12 days of vacation from work and students get one month winter vacation.  The New Year celebrations peak from the New Year’s Eve to the first day of the Lunar New Year, the 15th day of the celebrations, during which the Lantern Festival is held.

Red is the dominant color of the Chiense decorations

5) In Chinese folklore, Nian, a fierce and cruel monster, eats livestock and kids but is scared of the red color. Thus the use of red decoration.

Red decoration is the Chinese answer to the Western Christmas Tree.

6) The world’s biggest fireworks display occurs during the Chinese New Year when virtually ALL Chinese families light fireworks. Nian is scared of them.

7) One sixth of the world celebrate the Chinese New Year and is fast becoming a global festival. It is of course celebrated in Mainland China, Taiwan and Hongkong but also in Vietnam, Singapore, the Philippines and some other Asian countries, not to mention the Chinatowns all over the world.
In some places the celebrations have spilled beyond the bounds of Chinatown. New York, London, Vancouver and Sydney are a case in point.

The Dragon Nian in the Chinese New Year celebrations: “He’s fierce and cruel but is scared of the red color and  firecrackers”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images
> Featured image/Ed G, CC BY-ND2.0
> Chinese New Year at Plaza de España/www.chinafamilyadventure.com, Fair use
> Red lanterns/SarahJ Dow LRPS, CC BY-ND2.0
> Dragon 1 (coiled)/Dawn Endico, CC BY-SA2.0
> Dragon 2/Brock Roseberry, CC BY2.0
> Dragon 3/Sydwon CC BY-ND2.0
> Dragon 4/Charles W Clark, CC BY2.0