ALTHOUGH it adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1912, the Chinese New Year, one of the most important events of the year for the Chinese community, is still calculated using the ancient Chinese lunar calendar.
Falling on the second new moon after winter solstice, the Chinese New Year falls on a different date every year and this month, the Year of the Rooster and 4,715th year of the traditional Chinese calendar begins on January 28.
The new year sees a long period of festivities which last until the Festival of the Lanterns on the 15th day of the new month. Traditionally the Chinese sweep their houses with old brooms which are then thrown away for luck, and pending tasks and debts must whenever possible be dealt with before the beginning of a new year.
In Spain, given the large Chinese community which has taken up residence in the country, the new year is honoured in many places with parties, fireworks and various events. In Madrid, for example, City Hall organises almost two weeks’ worth of events centred around the celebrations. Things kick off on January 28 with a street parade and last until February 12, which will see traditional Chinese customs displayed at Plaza de España.