Happy Chinese New Year 2014!

night-life-new-york-chinatownHappy Chinese New Year to all of our readers!

Chinese New Year took place on 31st January this year, but the biggest day for celebrations in the UK is today, 2nd February. London’s Chinatown is set to hold the best New Year event in the country, with other big cities such as Birmingham and Manchester to follow suit.

2014 marks the Year of the Horse, with 2013 being the Year of the Snake and 2015 the Year of the Goat. This represents the animals of the Chinese zodiac, and the years cycle on a 12 year rotation.

Chinese New Year is typically celebrated in China with large family meals. It is also traditional to clean the entire house to make way for the good luck that will come with the New Year. Some people also give gifts of money in red paper envelopes to signify wealth, prosperity and good fortune.

In countries with a significant Chinese population, it is normal for Chinese New Year to be a public holiday to allow families to get together and celebrate.

Each of the days of the New Year celebrations is dedicated to a particular activity. For example, the first day is about welcoming the deities and scaring away the bad spirits with fireworks and firecrackers. On the 13th day, people eat a vegetarian diet to cleanse their bodies from the preceding days of festivities, while the 15th day, or the Lantern Festival, marks the end of the New Year celebrations.

Food is traditionally meat, fish and a series of vegetarian dishes eaten on different days of the New Year festivities. A hot pot often forms part of the reunion family meal to represent the coming together of the family, and dumplings are eaten as it is thought that the preparation represents packaging luck inside the dumplings.

If you have been celebrating Chinese New Year, we would love to hear all about it.

Find out more about cultural celebrations around the world>>

Check out our calendar of world events>>

What Do You Know … About Your National Anthem?

National anthems denote patriotism and great pride in a country and its people and are usually played during international sporting events and medal ceremonies. The lyrics can talk about the history, culture and even politics of a country but some national anthems stand out for more than just the meaning of their lyrics.

[Read more…]

English Language Day

The 13th of October marks the annual English Language Day. This day celebrates the English language which is used by around 2 billion people worldwide.

It was this day in 1362 when in English history, the Chancellor of England opened Parliament for the first time, speaking entirely in English.  Approval was also given this day for debates to be spoken in the English language by members of Parliament thereby also making English the official language of law and law-making.

The 13th of October symbolises the survival of the English language and how it became a world language.

Read more about English Language Day.

World Events Calendar

Language Advantage Events brings you a countdown of the most popular language and cultural events from around the world!

Keep up-to-date with what’s going on each month for the most important, and sometimes the most weird, celebrations, events and festivals. Click on the event name for more information.

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* Canada Day, CanadaCanada Day, Canada

The 1st July each year marks the national day of Canada or, Canada Day. In French, the day is called Fête du Canada

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* Independence Day USAIndependence Day USA

What does the 4th of July mean to you? The modern day 4th July is Independence Day and one of the biggest national (or federal) holidays in the United States of America.

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* Pamplona Bull Run, SpainPamplona Bull Run, Spain

The Pamplona Bull Run runs from 6 – 14 July every year in Pamplona, Spain. It is known as El Encierro in Spanish and takes place as part of the Fiesta de San Fermi­n

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* Pamplona Bull Run, SpainPamplona Bull Run, Spain

The Pamplona Bull Run runs from 6 – 14 July every year in Pamplona, Spain. It is known as El Encierro in Spanish and takes place as part of the Fiesta de San Fermi­n

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* Pamplona Bull Run, SpainPamplona Bull Run, Spain

The Pamplona Bull Run runs from 6 – 14 July every year in Pamplona, Spain. It is known as El Encierro in Spanish and takes place as part of the Fiesta de San Fermi­n

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* Pamplona Bull Run, SpainPamplona Bull Run, Spain

The Pamplona Bull Run runs from 6 – 14 July every year in Pamplona, Spain. It is known as El Encierro in Spanish and takes place as part of the Fiesta de San Fermi­n

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* Pamplona Bull Run, SpainPamplona Bull Run, Spain

The Pamplona Bull Run runs from 6 – 14 July every year in Pamplona, Spain. It is known as El Encierro in Spanish and takes place as part of the Fiesta de San Fermi­n

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* Pamplona Bull Run, SpainPamplona Bull Run, Spain

The Pamplona Bull Run runs from 6 – 14 July every year in Pamplona, Spain. It is known as El Encierro in Spanish and takes place as part of the Fiesta de San Fermi­n

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* Pamplona Bull Run, SpainPamplona Bull Run, Spain

The Pamplona Bull Run runs from 6 – 14 July every year in Pamplona, Spain. It is known as El Encierro in Spanish and takes place as part of the Fiesta de San Fermi­n

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* Pamplona Bull Run, SpainPamplona Bull Run, Spain

The Pamplona Bull Run runs from 6 – 14 July every year in Pamplona, Spain. It is known as El Encierro in Spanish and takes place as part of the Fiesta de San Fermi­n

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* Bastille Day, FranceBastille Day, France

Bastille Day, known in French as le quatorze juillet or Fête Nationale, is a French National holiday held on the 14 July each year.

* Pamplona Bull Run, SpainPamplona Bull Run, Spain

The Pamplona Bull Run runs from 6 – 14 July every year in Pamplona, Spain. It is known as El Encierro in Spanish and takes place as part of the Fiesta de San Fermi­n

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* Independence Day, ColombiaIndependence Day, Colombia


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