Happy Chinese New Year! Out with the horse and in with the sheep (or goat, depending on who you talk to). Celebrations started yesterday, and will continue until Tuesday. The New Year itself falls on February 19 this year, and since China’s eastern seaboard is eight hours ahead of the UK it’s already begun.
There are a lot of complicated and ancient customs involved in Chinese New Year. It’s an as big (if not bigger) deal as Christmas in the UK, and the movement of people from China’s cities to their rural homes is considered the biggest recurring human migration on Earth.
But for most people in the UK we associate it with colourful parades, fireworks and the 12 animals of the Chinese calendar. So first things first, are you a sheep?