The Year Of The Rat
2020 is the Year of the Rat, the first animal in the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac signs. According to myth, the Jade Emperor said the order of the zodiac signs would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. The Rat tricked the Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived at the finish line, the Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox, becoming first.
The Rat is associated with the Earthly Branch (地支—dì zhī) Zi (子) and the midnight hours. In the terms of yin and yang (阴阳—yīn yáng), the Rat is yang and represents the beginning of a new day. In Chinese culture, rats were seen as a sign of wealth and surplus. Because of their reproduction rate, married couples prayed to them for children.
Now that we’ve brushed up on our Chinese zodiac, here are some Chinese New Year events that are not to be missed:
Oriental Dragon Festival
Date: Saturday, 15 February 2020 at 10:00 – 22:00.
Where: Rivonia Boulevard, 2191 Johannesburg.
Let’s eat, drink and be merry. Join in for amazing feasts and drinks at this event. They will have a number of fun activities to help you get into the new year spirit. Entertainment on offer includes dragon dances, kung fu shows, live music, a flea market and traditional Chinese delicacies.
Chinese New Year Festival 2020 At Nan Hua Temple
Date: Sunday, 26 January 2020 from 09:00 – 16:00.
Where: Nan Hua Temple, 27 Nan Hua Road, Cultura Park, Bronkhorstspruit, Gauteng.
Visit the Nan Hua Temple for this spectacular Chinese New Year celebration. They will be hosting a series of traditional events that can be enjoyed by all. Other than all the fun and exciting ceremonies during the day, you can explore the temple and take in all the stunning architecture, surroundings and peace.
The schedule for the day is as follows:
- 09:30 – Light Offering Dharma Ceremony
- 10:00 – Opening Ceremony for Chinese Cultural Festival
- 10:00 to 15:30 – Chinese Cultural Festival
- 11:30 to 14:30 – Multicultural Performances
Chinese New Year In Cyrildene (Cancelled)
Date: Saturday, 01 February 2020
Where: New Chinatown, Derrick Avenue, Cyrildene, Johannesburg.
Cyrildene is considered Joburg’s biggest Chinatown, and they are super excited to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The street will be filled with street side food stalls, offering special festive menus. In the early evening, a parade will begin to wind its way up the street, led by a colourful Chinese lion who is followed by dancers in traditional costume and a long dancing Chinese dragon.
If you’re looking for other places to celebrate the day around the city, be sure to check these out:
Chinese New Year At First Chinatown (Cancelled)
Date: Saturday, 08 February 2020
Where: Siu Hing Hong, 17 Commissioner Street, Ferreiras Dorp, Johannesburg.
At Joburg’s first Chinatown, there will be dancing Chinese dragons and lions, Chinese drumming and singing and kung fu and tai chi displays. A variety of Chinese food will be on sale throughout the day in the Chinatown area, including at Joburg’s oldest Chinese restaurant, Swallows Inn. Events run throughout the afternoon and evening and concludes with a fireworks display that ends at 21:30. Visit their Facebook page for more information.
Where are you celebrating the Chinese New Year? Let us know in the comments section below!