Chinese New Year 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.
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 2021, it was the year of the buffalo/ox, starting on February 12, and in 2022 is the year of the tiger, starting on February 1.
If you’re in Lisbon between February 1st and 15th, you’ll be able to enjoy the Chinese New Year celebrations in several places as the Chinese Embassy in Portugal and the Lisbon City Council, with the support of several institutions in China and Portugal, are once again organizing the Happy Chinese New Year event.
The Opening Ceremony of the Happy Chinese New Year event will be held online on February 1st, but until the 15th there are more shows to watch. Adding to this, Avenida Almirante Reis and Praça Martim Moniz will once again be decorated with red Chinese lanterns between January 15th and February 15th.
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 Museu do Oriente (Orient Museum) organizes activities for the whole family with the objective of bringing its visitors closer to the roots and traditions of China. From paper ornament workshops to guided tours, offerings of little red envelopes where visitors will be invited to leave their New Year’s wishes, and the beauty of the Festival das Lanternas (Lantern Festival) which usually closes the activities related to the Chinese New Year in the museum, although this year it happens on February 12th and there are still activities like Chinese Calligraphy workshops and making Chinese zodiac masks in the following days.
In another part of the city, Lisbon University’s Confucious Institute will celebrate the Chinese New year with an online event through Zoom. This will occur on February 4th, between 6 pm and 7:30 pm, with free access to anyone that wants to join. The event will start with speeches from the Lisbon University Dean and the Chinese Ambassador in Lisbon. Following this, there will be artistic presentations, from songs to poetry to sharing personal experiences and traditional dances, learning how to make paper art and cooking gyozas.
The Portuguese TV station RTP will air a five-episode documentary series called “Ano Novo Chinês” (Chinese New Year), which focuses on the Chinese calendar’s biggest celebration, showing thousand-year traditions and can be watched from January 31st to February 6th.
“The Old House” restaurant, in Parque das Nações, prepared gastronomical suggestions to celebrate all of the Chinese people spread throughout the World with chef Zhi Gang Xie, that accepted the challenge of preparing an amazing menu that brings the quality and flavours of the Sichuan gastronomy to Lisbon.
The JNcQUOI Asia, in Avenida da Liberdade, will have a special menu from Malaysian chef Ku Yan, celebrating this date while focusing on Chinese gastronomy’s rich flavours, until February 3rd. We highly recommend you book an early reservation if you wish to enjoy this option’s delicacies.
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