Chinese New Year is a major celebration in many parts of Asia where people with Chinese ancestry live. But its celebration is also spreading in France, where a sizable Chinese and Asian population now exists. It is not an official public holiday in France, but it is certainly an observance of increasing prominence.
|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. 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.
Paris is the centre of the Chinese New Year festivities in France as it has a large Chinese population. The Belleville district and vicinity is especially festive this time of year.
Parades complete with dancing dragons, lions, tigers, and colourful fish wind through neighbourhoods with Chinese and Asian populations. You may spot colourful Chinese lanterns, street dance groups, and special ceremonies like the opening of the dragon’s eye. The abundance of exploding firecrackers leaves a smoky smell in the air.