Thoughts from Cuckoo HQ
06
Mar 18

Year of the Dog - Around the World

Chinese New Year, or 'Spring Festival', is China's most important holiday. This year the festival ran from February 16th - March 4th, and marked the beginning of the Year of the Dog, according to Chinese Astrology. The festival was celebrated around the world. As the celebrations draw to a close, we're taking a look at this year's highlights.

Ireland

The Dublin Chinese New Year Festival, now in its 11th year, attracts over 10,000 people each year. It was established to promote and deepen Sino-Irish relations, by programming a series of cultural events around the city centre. This year, highlights included the Spring Fair based in the CHQ building, and various themed events like the Curious History of Irish Dogs, and a Dog Life Drawing Class. Across Ireland, famous buildings like Cork City Hall and Powerscourt Estate were lit up red to mark the occasion. 

London

London's CNY event attracts around 700,000 people - making it the biggest event outside of Asia. Revellers are treated to a massive parade through Chinatown, featuring dragon dancers, elaborate floats and marchers in traditional dress. The parade culminates in live performances in Trafalgar Square, with pop music and pyrotechnics a-plenty, and a spectacular light show. You can check out some of images and videos from the event here, they really are worth a look. You can also read about what the rest of the UK did to celebrate. 

San Francisco

San Fran's CNY festival is the oldest in the US, and the biggest. It is also one of the world's only illuminated night time parades. The streets are filled with the sound of pounding drums - and acrobats, stilt walkers and martial artists keep the crowds entertained. Other festival highlights include the Flower Fair, Miss Chinatown USA Pageant and the Chinatown Street Fair. You can read more about the San Fran celebrations, as well as New York, New Orleans and Los Angeles here.

China

Last but not least! It's unclear when the Lunar New Year celebrations began in China, although historians reckon it started as far back as 2300 BC. It's origins date back to China’s ancient agrarian society, when the new year was a time of worship, celebration and sacrifice. There are many traditions associated with the holiday, including lion and dragon dances, the exchange of 'lucky' red envelopes, and setting off fireworks and firecrackers. The celebrations are spread out across the country rather than centralised, and culminate in the Lantern Festival. The national broadcaster (CCTV) also hosts the annual New Year Gala, which is the world's most watched television show. Not all celebrations went off without a hitch, however... 

Across the Globe

You can check out some more images of CNY being celebrated worldwide here. If you want to find out who "won" Chinese New Year, according to Instagram posts, you can do that too. Or, if you're so inclined, you can check out these cute dogs celebrating on Instagram. Aww.

 
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