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The 'Year of the Dragon', Chinese New Year 2012 falls on the 23rd of January. London's main celebrations, the largest outside Asia, will be held on Sunday the 29th of January.

The celebrations will take place in Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and Chinatown. The celebrations will include a parade in Londons Chinatown and an exciting display by various performers in Trafalgar Square followed by a fireworks finale.

Schedule of Events (Sunday 29th January)

10:15 - 11:30: Parade on Rupert Street

12:00 - 05:40: Opening ceremony in Trafalgar Square followed by performances

05:40: Fireworks Finale at Trafalgar Square


About the Chinese New Year

Considered to be the most important holiday in China, the Chinese New Year marks the beginning of the New Lunar Year in China.

Chinese New Year starts with the new moon on the first day of the New Year and ends 15 days later on the full moon. The 15th Day of the New Year is called the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated with lantern displays at night.

The Chinese calendar is based on a combination of lunar and solar movements. The lunar cycle is about 29.5 days, therefore in order to catch up with the solar calendar, the Chinese insert one month every few years (7 years out of a 19 year cycle) which is the same as adding an extra day on a leap year. According to the solar calendar, this is why the Chinese New Year falls on a different day each year.

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar with a popular theme of happiness, good fortune and longevity. The tradition is to reconcile, forget grudges and wish peace and happiness for everyone.