The Chinese New Year (春節) is a reference to the New Year celebration date adopted by several Eastern nations that follow the traditional calendar, which is quite distinct from the Western one. This year the occasion is celebrated on the 22nd of January, the date that will mark the Year of the Rabbit, the fourth animal of the Chinese zodiac.
The Chinese calendar is lunisolar, taking into account both the phases of the moon and the position of the sun and the new year begins on the night of the new moon closest to the day the sun passes through the fifteenth degree of Aquarius, and that’s each year falls on a different day of the Western calendar.
The twelve animals of the Chinese horoscope to which the Chinese years correspond are Rat, Buffalo/Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Serpent/Snake, Horse, Sheep/Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Boar/Pig. Thus, if 2008 was the year of the Rat, 2009 was attributed to the Ox (Buffalo), 2010 to the Tiger, 2011 to the Rabbit and so on. In 2022, it was the year of the Tiger, starting on February 1, and now since 22nd January 2023, China will again celebrate the Year of the Rabbit. The Rabbit is a symbol of patience, longevity and luck. The fourth animal of the zodiac is characterized by kindness and serenity.
If you’re in the Portuguese Capital between January 7th and February 5th, you’ll be able to enjoy the Chinese New Year celebrations in several places. Every year the Chinese Embassy in Portugal and the Lisbon City Council, with the support of several independent institutions in China and Portugal, organize the Happy Chinese New Year event.
The Opening Ceremony of the Happy Chinese New Year event will be held online from January 7th, until February 5th, with concerts to watch, presentations, workshops, and free entrance at Lisbon’s Oriente Museum. Adding to this, Avenida Almirante Reis and Praça Martim Moniz have been once again decorated with red Chinese lanterns during the celebration period.
On the main day of the festival, January 22nd, admission to Lisbon’s Oriente Museum is free. But there is much more for the visitor to do. As it happens every year, this event’s celebrations occur throughout the city of Lisbon, to enjoy with friends and family or the nearest screen. The Fundação Oriente, through the Museu do Oriente, organizes activities for the whole family to bring the citizens and visitors closer to the roots and traditions of China.
Workshops will offer courses on how to make a paper ornament, prepare the dough of Chinese dumplings, and creative writing. During the event guided tours at the Orient Museum will be offered, together with little red envelopes where visitors will be invited to leave their New Year’s wishes. The amazing Festival das Lanternas (Lantern Festival), which usually closes the activities related to the Chinese New Year in the museum, will happen on the 5th of February, the last day of the celebration. Other events that the visitor can participate is Tai Chi Chuan sessions, and learning how to rebalance the energies of your home using the principles of Feng Shui for 2023.
If you are looking for closer contact with the Chinese community in Lisbon, then you definitely will like to visit Martim Moniz Square. There you can already see the decoration on the streets celebrating Chinese Culture, and you can find some of the best Chinese restaurants, shops and other facilities. Not far from the Martim Moniz, in the neighbourhood of Mouraria, you can also visit the traditional “Hidden Chinese Restaurant” (Chinês Clandestino). It is the best choice if you are looking for traditional Chinese food, and a different dining experience, since the restaurant is basically the worker’s home, partially converted into a restaurant.
Enjoying the Chinese New Year in Lisbon is a great opportunity to explore the city. If you are interested in exploring properties in this area, browse the houses & apartments for sale in Martim Monitz by Portugal Homes.
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