Year of the Dog starting

The main celebration in Prague is at the Municipal House

The Chinese new year is determined by the lunar calendar, and this year it falls on Feb. 16. It will be the Year of the Dog, which takes over from the rooster in the rotation of 12 animal signs. In addition, there are five elements, and 2018’s element is earth. The last Year of the Earth Dog was in 1958.

Celebrations will be held from Feb. 15 to 17 at the Municipal House (Obecní dům). The main program requires tickets but the side program in the halls of the Municipal House is free.

The main program will take place in Smetana Hall on Feb. 15 at 5 pm and on Feb. 16 and 17 at 3 pm and 7 pm. It will feature dance, acrobatics, and music, with performers from Jiangsu Province.

The dog in the Chinese zodiac is considered just, loyal and social. People who believe in Chinese astrology say those born in the year of the dog make good friends and are independent, sincere, communicative and loyal. They will also be serious and responsible in the workplace. Drawbacks are they can be sensitive, conservative, stubborn and emotional.

The dog is an auspicious animal, and if one happens to come to a house it means good fortune, according to tradition.

The celebration will showcase traditional cultural, musical and dance performances, crafts and cuisine. There will be 40 artists from China to demonstrate traditional techniques and skills.

The accompanying program will have calligraphy, ink painting, a tea ceremony, traditional lanterns, and puppets. Visitors can try a Chinese language lesson, face painting, or making Chinese cutouts and see a martial arts demonstration. Traditional specialties will be prepared by Chinese chefs.

A maker of traditional Chinese lanterns will come to Prague for the second time, bringing lotus lamps to visitors. “People always express their desire for a good life through the lamps with rabbit, flower, lion, pineapple and other designs. In the 1980s lamp makers replaced the bamboo skeleton with steel wires. A paper body replaced the silk, and the candle was replaced by a bulb. Everyone is welcome to come and try out to make one,” lamp maker Gu Chuanjing said in a press release.

The celebration of the Chinese New Year in Prague is organized by the Mixed Czech-Chinese Chamber of Mutual Cooperation with the support of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Czech Republic and the Jiangsu Province Cultural Office and other partners.

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