With Chinese New Year almost here, Stockholm is ready to celebrate this weekend. Read on for the YLC guide to the Chinese zodiac, the significance of the new year and the place to boogie with a dragon! Here’s our take on the year of the snake.
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The Chinese zodiac or the Shēngxiào (生肖), is comprised of 10 ‘heavenly stems’ (relating to the ‘yin’ or ‘yang’, two contrary forces, of 5 elements) and 12 ‘earthly branches’ (relating each year to an animal and its reputed attributes). From this sexagenary cycle, a skilled Chinese fortune teller can work out your personal attributes and future predictions in life. Whether you believe in the concept or just see it as a bit of fun, there’s no doubt that it adds some excitement to celebrate this Chinese festival towards the end of the long dark Swedish winter.
Year of the snake
This year is the Yin-Water-Snake’s year; for those expecting during this time, snakes are said to be wise, introspective and good with money, but also anxious beings, who believe that they are always right. Famous snakes include Sweden’s very own Greta Garbo, Bob Dylan and J.K. Rowling. A year of the snake is supposed to be a year of transformation; of ‘shedding your old skin’. The rewards are meant to be found in the inner world of spirit, not the outer world of material things. In fact, the pace of life is meant to be slow in a Snake year, and that includes an economic slow down. You heard it here first!
Stockholm gets ready to celebrate
Luckily, you won’t need to splash too much cash to welcome the Chinese New Year in Stockholm. Celebrations to suit everyone’s pocket have been planned for Saturday the 9th in the capital. It won’t cost you a penny – sorry an öre – to meet a dragon, join a snake parade and wish the Chinese ambassador ‘Xin Nian Kuai Le‘! For those of you choosing to venture further north of town, there’s also a family day planned at Tensta library:
12:00 The dragon and the lion appears in Kungsträdgården. Follow the big dragon and lion to the museum where the Chinese Ambassador will wish you a Happy New Year.
13:00 New Year’s speech at the museum. Dancing with the dragon and the lion.
15:00 Chinese New Year’s Concert: Blue Willow with Ensemble Fleder.
From 12-16: In the studio, we will paint Chinese dragon decorations in classic red, black and gold. Try to make your own snake!
From 12-16: Try your hand at Chinese calligraphy with the Swedish-Chinese Association.
From 12-16: Experience Tobias Gutmans Face-o-Mat, which is part of The Verks Guerilla Design and Art Week (taking place February 5 to 10).
When: February 9th, 12.00-16-00
Where: Parade starts at Kungsträdgården and ends at Östasiatiska museet, Tyghusplan, 111 49 Stockholm
Cost: Museum entrance – 100 SEK for over 18s; otherwise free.
Program for the whole family. Listen to Chinese legends, learn to read the signs and find your own animal!
When: February 9th, 12.00-14-00
Where: Tensta bibliotek, Hagstråket 13, 163 63 Spånga (T-bana: Tensta)
Cost: Free entry
Article: Farrah Gillani
Photo of ‘Penelope’ reproduced with kind permission from Charlotte Robbins
Photo of Dragon over Stockholm reproduced with kind permission from Östasiatiska museet
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