Year of the Rooster in Amsterdam

2017 is the Year of the Rooster. Amsterdam's Chinese New Year celebrations take place on Dam Square and around the Nieuwmarkt (Amsterdam's Chinatown area). Expect festivities to begin on the Zeedijk at around 12:00 on Saturday, 28 January 2017, starting at the Fo Guang Shan He Hua.

The De Bijenkorf department store traditionally organises special activities to celebrate Chinese New Year, including in-store dragon and lion dances, calligraphy workshops, music performances and tea ceremonies – these are expected to take place from 12:00-18:00 on Sunday, 29 January 2017.

There are also festivities expected around Dam Square on the evening of Monday, 30 January 2017, including a lion dance from 18:00. While another lion dance is scheduled for Holland Casino, near Leidseplein.

A taste of China

If you’re looking for something more intimate, retreat to the Fo Guang Shan He Hua, a real Buddhist temple which usually has a special programme. Alternatively, grab yourself a meal at the Sea Palace (Europe’s first floating Chinese restaurant) or at one of the many Chinese restaurants along the Stormsteeg and Geldersekade.

Gong Xi Fa Cai! (Happy New Year!)

Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, is the most important event in the Chinese calendar. It’s a special occasion whichever part of the world you’re in, and nearly always marked by family gatherings, food rituals, offerings at temples and the colour red. The superstitious will particularly enjoy Chinese New Year’s Eve, when a raw fish salad (yu sheng) is said to bring good luck and fai-hai, a type of seaweed, prosperity. (The vegetarian option is lettuce, which the Chinese believe sounds like 'luck').