February 8th will see the beginning of 15 days of celebrations for the Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival. The New Year legend tells us that a very long time ago, a terrible monster lived in China named the Nian, and once every twelve months it came out of his den to devour humans. To escape its ruthless hunting, the only option was to scare it off with noises and the bright red color which today are symbols known worldwide of Chinese folklore.

This year, the celebrations are to welcome the beginning of the year of the monkey, with the festivities primarily focusing on the first two days, and ending with a children’s parade that marks the arrival of the new moon, the famous lantern festival.

 

Asian lanterns in lantern festivalPhoto Credit: Junglam

 

It is an event that is celebrated not only in Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai, but also in all the cities where the Chinese community is present and active. One of these places is in Milan, where on Paolo Sarpi street and the surrounding area, there is the largest Chinatown in Italy.

Here, during the Chun Jie celebration, you can attend various street performances including the famous parade of dragons, the costumed icons of Chinese New Year culture.

 

Capodanno_cinesePhoto Credit: Travelblog

 

For those who also want to enjoy a dinner for the beginning of the year – a meal strictly comprised of ravioli and fish, if you want to respect the Chinese customs – the best option is to attend the traditional party held at the Chinese restaurant New Garden in Via Monte Cenisio 83, a place that has always been a reference point for the Asian community in Milan.

Instead, if you would prefer to explore your spiritual side, the temple Shaolin Quan Fa will hold a seminar on the social value of the 5 Shaolin Buddhist principles, followed by a celebration of the new year from 2:00 to 6:00, on February 13th.

 

red-lanternsPhoto Credit: Ibtimes

 

 

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