Chinese New Year 2022: date of lunar new year celebration and Birmingham events

Chinese New Year celebrations are being planned across the globe - including Birmingham

Chinese New Year is just a matter of weeks away and will see the citizens of China and parts of Asia, as well as Chinese communities across the globe, celebrate.

But what date will Chinese New Year 2022 fall on, what animal will this year be - and what activities will take place?

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Chinese New Year will take place on Tuesday 1 February 2022.

The previous lunar year ran from 12 February 2021 and ends on 31 January 2022.

Timings differ from when we mark the new year here in the UK because China traditionally follows the lunar calendar, while we follow a solar one (one that’s based on the earth’s passage around the sun, and which is in common and legal usage around the world).

The lunar calendar bases its timings off the different phases of the moon.

It means months tend to be either 29 or 30 days in length, while years are between 11 and 12 days shorter than the solar calendar.

While this might seem a foreign concept, most cultures across the world have used lunar calendars at some point in their history.

Even the Gregorian calendar, which was introduced in Europe almost 450 years ago, has its origins in the lunar cycle.

2022 will be the year of the tiger.

Red lanterns hang above one of the narrow streets which makes up the Chinatown quarter of Birmingham

The year of the tiger

Every new year marks the introduction of another new animal and its attributes from the Chinese zodiac.

This tradition has been going for 2,000 years and remains central to Chinese culture, with people using it to determine their fortune for the year and even who they should marry.

There are 12 animals in all: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig, and this year is the year of the tiger.

How is Chinese New Year marked?

In China, there are four main elements of New Year festivities:

  • Little Year: takes place one week before Chinese New Year and is a day of memorial and prayer
  • New Year’s Eve: a day of reunions and gift-giving
  • Spring Festival (11 days long): a festival of family activities, prayers and feasting
  • Lantern Festival (5 days long): celebrates family reunions and society, and also includes the Chinese equivalent of Valentine’s Day. Chinese people mark the event by making lanterns and lighting them

Each day during this period involves different activities and sees different food and drink items consumed.

Typical food items include spring rolls, dumplings, noodles, steamed fish or chicken and rice cakes.

Chinese New Year is also marked all over the world.

Chinese New Year is kicking off in just a few weeks time (image: Getty Images)

What’s going on in Birmingham?

Although the annual Chinese New Year festival celebrations in and around the Arcadian centre will not take place this year due to Covid, traditional celebrations will be taking place at the Bullring.

On Saturday 5 February, between 12 and 5pm, there will be a range of free performances.

Shoppers and visitors to the city centre can enjoy the traditional, and much loved, lion dance and processions through Bullring and Grand Central, as well as a packed programme featuring fan dancers, shaolin monks and face changing dancers.

The plans have been put in place by Birmingham Hippodrome and supported by the Chinese Festival Committee, Birmingham and Chinese Community Centre Birmingham.

You can also watch celebrations online as they will be streamed live later on in the evening on the same day through the Chinese Festival Committee Birmingham Facebook page.

The online celebrations will take place from 5pm until 7pm on Saturday 5 February, and will also include lion dances and processions, as well as performances.

You will be able to watch the live event by using the link, here.

Chinatown will still be open during this time for you to enjoy the great food and venues it has to offer.

A University of Birmingham Lunar New Year concert will be taking place on January 27.

The concert will take place at the university’s music building.

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