Events: year of the horse in China
Today is an important day in the Chinese calendar as tonight is Chinese new year. The year of the serpent comes to a close and leads the way for the year of the horse, an animal that symbolises euphoria.
One of the stand-out events in Italy will take place in Milan with colourful and lively celebrations expected at the Alchimia club from 22.30. The countdown to the new year will take place amongst red lanterns and music. What is more, entrance is free.
It’s a custom that will be replicated in all parts of the world where there is a large Chinese community. However, the Chinese new year or “spring festival” is also celebrated in other countries of the far east such as Korea, Nepal, Bhutan, Vietnam and Japan.
The origins of this festival go back to the legend of Nian, a monster who appeared every 12 months to scare and kill humans. This is the reason why the Chinese celebrate with a firework show and red banners as they represent the monster Nian in the traditional dance of the lion.
Traditionally the celebrations last 2 weeks, but it’s becoming more common to reduce this to a few days. The most important celebration is the “festival of the lantern” which brings the festivities to a close. This is done via a firework display, the exchanging of gifts and by preparing the dessert Nian Gao which is eaten at new year.