Chinese New Year in Amsterdam’s Chinatown

Chinese New Year in Amsterdam’s Chinatown

When you are on a short break  in Amsterdam and spend New Year’s Day in this beautiful city, you can experience an exotic New Year’s Day celebration when you head to Chinatown. The Chinese New Year celebration is meant to be the most important holiday for the Chinese and that is not surprising. The festivities last weeks on end! 

The Chinese New Year runs on the lunar-solar Chinese calendar and therefore starts on a different date each year, somewhere between the end of January to the middle of February. The next Chinese New Year officially starts on January 31 2014 and will be the Year of the Horse. There is no real focus on any single date but the Chinese community in Amsterdam always comes up on New Year’s Day or January 2nd with a ‘preview’ of what is to be expected later on in the month. The festivities include parties and parades which go accompanied with colourful performances, midnight drums, gongs and cymbals. Everything is centered around Nieuwmarkt, which is in Central Amsterdam and the heart of Chinatown.

There’s going to be fireworks and plenty of Chinese exhibitions, not to mention the delicious food.  Don’t get confused by the ‘Spring Festival’ nomer, it’s the 20th Century term for the Chinese New Year.  

Originally, the festivities was celebrated in honour of various household and heavenly deities as well as ancestors. Families came together for feasting. This still pretty much happens although China adopted the Western calendar in 1912. 

In case you are wondering what the horse represents – according to the Chinese calendar, the Year of the Horse is going to be a great year for independent spirits. When they become financially independent, this will end years of struggle and love life issues – because horses are naturally lucky when it comes to money resources and career so long as they manage these the right way.