Chinese New Year: The Year of the Rooster

It’s that time of the year again with the Chinese New Year festivities beginning on Saturday 28 January and running through to Wednesday 15 February. This year is the year of the Red Fire Rooster, which represents inner warmth and insight, as well as family ties. Find your year of birth here to discover which of the 12 Zodiac animals you are!



The Chinese New Year, sometimes called the Spring Festival, has been celebrated for hundreds of years and is considered the most important event on the Chinese calendar. It is also celebrated by many of China’s neighbouring countries, such as Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia and the Philippines.



People in China and other countries celebrate this important occasion in all sorts of different ways. However, a couple of very popular traditions include a reunion dinner with family on the eve of the Chinese New Year, and many families do a thorough clean of their homes in order to sweep away bad things and make room for good fortune in the year ahead. Fireworks are also a common way to celebrate the Chinese New Year.



In Wellington, we celebrate the Chinese New Year with a festival day which is free to attend. Sample some special Chinese food, take part in the kids activities, or watch the parade as it proceeds from Courtenay Place to Frank Kitts Park. There might even be some fireworks in the harbour! Check out all the details for the Wellington festival day here.



Check out our wide collection of Chinese New Year books on the catalogue, and get involved this Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New year!

Chinese New Year 2016 logoChinese New Year, the most important and longest running celebration in Chinese culture, is just around the corner for 2016, the Year of the Monkey.

Based on the lunar calendar and the moon phases, and sometimes called the Spring Festival for this reason, we can expect to see a new moon in the night sky on Monday 8 February.

It is a time for family, reunion, and giving, and the occasion is celebrated in many different ways. Just before the New Year, families give their homes a thorough clean to sweep away bad luck from the year before and symbolise a new beginning.

This is followed by up to 15 days of special celebrations and traditional Chinese food, decorations and practices that are believed to bring people good luck, wealth and happiness.

Although Chinese New Year is not recognised as a public holiday is New Zealand, Wellington will be celebrating Chinese New Year on the weekend of 13-14 February with a variety of special events including the Asian market, a waterfront carnival and fireworks display, and cultural entertainment.

If you would like to learn more about Chinese New Year, head over to our catalogue to see what books we have available. Here’s a selection of some cool things to read:


On this week – Late night storytimes at Johnsonville and Tawa Libraries



After a bit of family fun on these long summer evenings? Come along to the first of our monthly late night Storytimes for the year at Johnsonville and Tawa Libraries.



This month our theme is Chinese New Year. Come along for some fun New Year stories and activities.
Thursday 4th February at 6.30pm.
Why not wear your pyjamas or an animal costume?
This is a free event for 4 – 10 year olds.



Enjoy a 30 minute session of silly stories and games. Come in your pyjamas or wear something silly.
Friday 5th February at 6.30pm
This is a free event for 4 – 10 year olds.


Tawa and Johnsonville Libraries hold free storytimes on their late nights in the first week of each month. Check out the library Event Calendar for future dates and times.

Chinese New Year Celebration 2013

Kung Hei Fat Choy! Happy New Year!

Chinese New Year celebration runs from Sunday February 10 – Sunday February 24 this year. Now not only people in China can have colourful and dynamic performances and activities to mark this special occasion, people in New Zealand can also participate and enjoy them.


In Wellington, there will be exiting celebrations for the Year of of the Snake held on the weekend of Saturday 23 and Sunday 24.


Here are some details:

There is a New Clothes for New Year Fashion Show on Saturday 23 February at the TSB Bank Arena, Queens Wharf from 7pm-8.30pm.

On Sunday 24 February, Chinese New Year Festival Day, you can come and taste the delicious food at the Asian Market at the TSB Arena as well as enjoying the crafts and performances from10.30am-4.30pm.

– Cultural Entertainment will be held at Frank Kitts Park from 3pm-4.30pm.A colourful Street Parade will start at Courtenay Place at 2pm.

There will be performances from Shenzen Song and Dance Ensemble from 7pm-8.20pm (tickets from Ticketek)

The festival will finish with a Firework Display.

You can visit the Wotzon and Chinese New Year websites for more details.

Have fun!


Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year falls on Sunday February 10 this year. It’s the most important traditional Chinese holiday. In China, it is also known as the ‘Spring Festival’.

The date of Chinese New Year changes every year as it is based on the lunar calendar. The dates usually range between late January and late February.

While the western calendar is based on the earth’s orbit around the sun, the lunar calendar that China and most Asian countries uses is based on the moon’s orbit around the earth. Chinese New Year always falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice.

Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally run for 15 days: from Chinese New Year’s Day, the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar to the 15th day of the first month, also called the Lantern Festival.

This year is the Year of the Snake, also called Junior Dragon by Chinese people.

The Chinese Zodiac is a rotating cycle of 12 years, which consists of 12 signs: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig, with each year represented by an animal.
Chinese New Year is celebrated by eating special New Year food, such as nian gao or sweet sticky rice cake and savory dumplings – which are round and symbolize never-ending wealth. People will travel home from far away to have a family reunion. The biggest feast is on Chinese New Year’s Eve where pork, fish, chicken, duck and dumplings will be consumed. People set off fireworks, visit friends and relatives, give out lucky money, deliver good wishes and hang lanterns.People born in the Year of Snake are believed to be intelligent, cute, charming, aware, elegant, mysterious, cunning, and passionate.

The origin of the Chinese New Year Festival is thousands of years old and varies from teller to teller, but all include a story of a terrible mythical monster called Nian, an extremely cruel and ferocious beast who preyed on villagers on New Year’s Eve. Nian (年) is also the Chinese word for “year.” To ward Nian away, villagers made loud noises with drums, set off fireworks, hang out red-paper couplets on the doors because Nian is said to fear the color red, the light of fire, and loud noises.