As the Year of the Monkey approaches celebrations are being planned around the world. This 15 day festival starts with the new moon on the first day of the lunar month and ends 15 days later with the Full Moon. In China, the festival is really all about family but with such a large diaspora the Chinese community will come together in a variety of ways and places to mark this, the largest of all the Chinese festivals. You can read about some of the traditions of this 15 day period here and here.
Closer to home, Universities, Confucius Institutes, community groups and civic society are planning a range of celebrations to mark the arrival of the Year of the Monkey.
- The University of Edinburgh will celebrate the Lunar New Year in the Debating Hall of Teviot Row Students Union on 4 February from 18.00-20.00.
- From noon till 4pm on Platform 2 at Waverley Station on Friday 5th February drop by to try out a range of Chinese crafts, get a temporary tattoo, create your own Chinese lantern and if you are lucky, catch a lion dance or a rendition of a Chinese love song.
- On Saturday 6th February the quadrangle of Edinburgh City Chambers will reverberate to the sounds of both Scottish bagpipes and Chinese Drums as the Lord Provost’s Chinese New Year celebrations kick off at noon. Following on from the Pipes and Drums of George Watson’s College, both a Dragon and Lion dance will take place in the quad before invited guests head into the City Chambers for more entertainment and a reception.
- Our own Institute will host its annual Chinese New Year party in Abden House on Friday 12th from 18.00-20.00 featuring games, crafts, prizes, karaoke and of course a taste of delicious jiaoazi. In the quieter corners there’s a chance to try out some Chinese crafts, Chinese Chess or even Mah-jong. And if we are lucky with the weather the evening will end in the garden with the release of some Chinese Sky Lanterns. Booking essential.
- 12th February is also the date when Glasgow’s Confucius Institute welcomes in the New Year at Hunter Halls in an evening of celebration of traditional Chinese culture.
- Tuesday 23 Feb will see Heriot-Watt students and guests will mark the Chinese New Year with a concert featuring the Heriot-Watt Chamber choir and musicians from Tianjin University of Finance and Economics.
But if there are no tickets left or you don’t feel like heading out into whichever storm may be raging,curl up on Sunday 7th Feb from noon till 4pm when you can watch a live stream of the China’s most popular evening of TV – China Central Television’s Spring Festival Gala. Running from 8pm till midnight Beijing time, viewers here should be able to watch or simply search for CCTV Spring Festival Gala live stream.