South Africa now over 300,000 citizens and residents of Chinese ancestry, and the number is growing from year to year. For this reason, there are major Chinese New Year celebrations that take place in major South African cities like Johannesburg, where many Chinese-South Africans live. Events at the Nan Hua Buddhist Temple east of Pretoria are especially prominent.
|2020||25 Jan||Sat||Chinese New Year|
|2021||12 Feb||Fri||Chinese New Year|
The date of Chinese New Year is generally in late January or early February. It is also known as the Spring Festival, based on the timing of the seasons in the Northern Hemisphere. In Australia, the Chinese New Year Spring Festival falls in mid-to-late summer. Chinese New Year is actually celebrated for 15 consecutive days, but the first three days are most important.
Each Chinese New Year is designated as “the year of“ one of the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac, which animal is supposed to characterise that year and all those born in it.
Chinese New Year is the most important annually recurring festival for people of Chinese ancestry all over the world. It has been celebrated for over 1,000 years – possibly much longer, and the traditions involved are deeply ingrained in Chinese culture. For many, it is also a religious holiday, full of prayers, offerings, and other acts of devotion.
Traditions include firecrackers lit in the streets, perusing martial arts displays, feasting on Chinese food, and attending boisterous fairs and carnivals. There may be parades with a dragon or lion dance, and Buddhists may visit temples to perform religious rites.