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 Celebrations

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:

Chinese New Year Festival 2019 at Nan Hua Temple

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.

Chinese New Year in First Chinatown

Where are you celebrating the Chinese New Year? Let us know in the comments section below!

Let's Get The Party Started!

Let's eat, be merry and have nothing but a fun time with everyone celebrating the Chinese New Years. We are keen to join in this year, so to spare ourselves FOMO we are making sure that we at least one of these. We cannot resist the charms of dragon dancing, fireworks, lanterns and of course, some mouthwatering foods. For all those reasons, we are going! The Chinese New Years is also called chunjie (春节), or the Spring Festival. To find out where to celebrate the day check these events out:

Chinese New Year Celebrations

Date: Saturday, 16 February 2019 at 17:30.

Where: Fisherman's Plate 真味海鮮, 18 Derrick Avenue Cyrildene, Bruma, Johannesburg.

You are kindly invited to feast and enjoy the beautiful celebrations. We can never say no to food, yep there is going to be plenty to eat. We hope your stomachs are read! If you are vegetarian never fear because they promise to give you amazing vegetarian food that will leave you begging for seconds. So, come indulge in some tasty soups, spring rolls, deep fried soya prawns, grilled soya ham, vegetarian curry, kung pao mushroom and so plenty more to indulge in. Visit this Facebook page for more information.

Chinese New Year Celebrations

UJCI Chinese Spring Festival

Date: Friday, 01 February 2019 at 15:00 - 18:00.

Where: 09 Molesey Avenue, Auckland Park, Johannesburg.

You are cordially invited by the University of Johannesburg Confucius Institute (UJCI) and Chinese Embassy to attend their Chinese Spring Festival to celebrate the Spring Festival. In 2019 the first day of the Lunar New Year will be on Tuesday, 05 February 2019. For more information be sure to contact Ms. Yan Chen on [email protected] or call 011 559 7500 or simply visit this Facebook page for more information.

Chinese New Year Festival 2019 at Nan Hua Temple

Date: Sunday, 10 February 2019 from 10:00 – 15:00.

Where: Nan Hua Temple, 27 Nan Hua Road, Cultura Park, Bronkhorstspruit, Gauteng.

Make sure you join in at the Nan Hua Temple for the spectacular Chinese New Year celebrations. This is the perfect place for you to come enjoy and celebrate the day because 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. Visit here!

The schedule for the day is as follows:

Chinese New Year Festival 2019 at Nan Hua Temple

Chinese New Year in Cyrildene

Date: Saturday, 16 February 2019.

Where: Derrick Avenue, Cyrildene, Johannesburg.

Why don't you and a group of friends join in at Cyrildene, which is Joburg's biggest Chinatown and they will be celebrating Chinese New Year. The event is said to be joyful, exuberating and filled with colourful display and we want to be part of it all. Derrick Avenue will also be filled with streetside food stalls and Cyrildene's many restaurants all offering special festive menus. There also will be a long parade begins to wind its way up the street, led by a colourful Chinese lion who will be followed by dancers in traditional costume and a long, dancing Chinese dragon. And of course, there will be fireworks see you there!

These are some of the best of the many venues on Derrick Avenue:

Chinese New Year in First Chinatown

Date: Saturday, 23 February 2019.

Where: First Chinatown - Commissioner Street, Corner Commissioner Street and Mcingana Street, Ferreirasdorp, City Centre, Johannesburg.

Joburg's First Chinatown on Commissioner Street celebrates Chinese New Year on Saturday February 23 with a massive fireworks display, tons of street food stalls and plenty of traditional entertainment. The arrival of the Year of the Pig will be welcomed with dancing Chinese dragons and lions, Chinese drumming and singing and Kung Fu and Tai Chi displays.

Chinese New Year

Where will you be celebrating? Share with us down below...