Chinese New Year's Eve 2023: where and when celebrate in Italy and some tips from the oriental tradition to the Year of the Rabbit.
The Chinese New Year doesn’t have a fixed date but varies according to the lunar calendar: it usually falls between January and February. The meaning, however, is the same as our New Year: the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new period. In this article, you will discover some curiosities about the Chinese tradition linked to the change of the year, which cities in Italy host the celebrations and some predictions about this 2023, born in the sign of the Rabbit.
Chinese New Year traditions to live in Italy
The Chinese New Year takes place during the second full moon of the year, in other words on the fifteenth day of the lunar month. The festival lasts 15 days and ends with the famous lantern festival, which this year will be held on 5th February. If you decide to celebrate this picturesque occasion here in Italy, read below to discover some elements of Chinese tradition to look out for.
The fireworks during Chinese New Year
China is the birthplace of gunpowder, so it's not surprising that fireworks are such an important part of the New Year celebrations. Fireworks are set off during the festivities at the stroke of midnight to symbolise the end of the old year and the beginning of the new. Along with the fireworks, bells are rung everywhere as a sign of good fortune for the coming year. Italy and China share this fascinating passion: it will be a sensational spectacle!
The Dragon Dance and the Lantern Festival
Both spectacular traditions have become symbols of Chinese New Year around the world. During the Dragon Dance and the less famous but equally evocative Lion Dance, huge crowds of people dance and sing through the streets of cities, carrying paper representations of these powerful animals in procession.
During the Lantern Festival, which marks the end of Chinese New Year, the streets are filled with colour: you can see flying and standing lanterns of all shapes and sizes everywhere. These lanterns are left on display all day and night and the spectacle is truly picturesque!
The red color for Chinese New Year's celebrations
Wondering what to wear for the celebrations? Whatever you like, as long as it's red! There are many rituals in Chinese tradition to prepare for the New Year and one of them is to use the colour red for everything: for clothes, underwear, wrapping presents, decorating streets and doorways and, of course, letting beautiful red lanterns fly.
What to eat during Chinese New Year's Eve
Chinese cuisine is one of the tastiest in the world and if you get peckish while strolling around the city, don't hesitate to stop at a Chinese restaurant or delicatessen to fully experience all the flavours and aromas of this ancient culture.
Here are some tips on what to eat on New Year's Eve to keep up with tradition. The Chinese pay maniacal attention to the preparation of dishes during the New Year: each one has its meaning and must be served according to a precise ritual.
Fish, for example, is a symbol of abundance and a good omen for a year full of good fortune. To attract good luck, however, this dish should be eaten last. Dumplings symbolise wealth, so during some New Year's Eve dinners, some cooks insert a small copper coin inside a dumpling and whoever finds it will become rich. Spring rolls symbolise prosperity, agglutinated rice cake brings growth, rice noodles happiness and long life. Sweet rice balls are a symbol of family harmony
Nothing remains permanent in the world, change is only the eternal fact.
Where to celebrate Chinese New Year in Italy in 2023
The three Italian cities with the largest Chinese communities are Milan, Rome and Prato, and it is here that the most beautiful New Year parades take place.
Chinese New Year in Prato this year will feature a large number of events, mostly taking place in the Gualchierina Square area. Among the program's activities will include theater performances, photo exhibitions, and tastings of typical Chinese New Year food. But the most anticipated moment will be the dragon and lion dance, traditional symbols that wish good luck to the whole community and drive away evil spirits.
In Rome, preparations for New Year's Eve are in full swing. Beijing and the Eternal City have been twinned since 1998. The main celebration is held in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II in the Esquiline district. Many Chinese have settled in this area of the city, where you can find goods not only from China but from the entire Eastern market.
Milan is home to Italy's largest Chinese community, and it is here that New Year's Eve is at its most spectacular and atmospheric. In the famous Paolo Sarpi street, the heart of Milan's Chinatown, you can find restaurants, delicatessens, clothes shops, hardware shops and Chinese handicrafts open all year round.
The year of the Rabbit: what lies ahead for 2023?
January 22nd, 2023 will mark the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit: according to Chinese astrology, this year will be characterized by the influences this animal offers to all the signs of the zodiac. Representing the values of meekness, responsibility and stability, the stars predict a fortunate period of peace and greater harmony than previous ones, in which one can recover the energy lost through stress and re-establish a more stable emotional balance. According to tradition, yhe year of the Rabbit is ideal for planning for the future, forming a family or being more confident in the search for a partner.
The symbolism of the Rabbit, regarded by the Chinese as peaceful and responsible, thus invites one to face any difficulty in life with a controlled approach, avoiding all forms of stress and identifying with the animal's psychological stillness.
In Chinese astrology being born in a particular year has a great symbolic importance, whose totem animal constitutes a definite spiritual and psychological imprint. In the case of those born in the year of the Rabbit, they are considered to be particularly prone to moral virtues and reserve, demonstrating diplomatic skills, kindness and elegance.
But living the year of one's zodiac sign-considered as the origin of life-represents a challenge for the Chinese, meaning a period of complex but necessary challenges and problems for one's spiritual growth. In any case, useful expedients can be implemented for all zodiac signs to ward off bad luck, including wearing red-colored clothing, precious stones such as jade or crystal jewelry.