The year of the pig: Where to celebrate Chinese New Year in South Africa

2019-02-04 11:02
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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/02/03: Lanterns seen

(PHOTO: Getty)

The Chinese zodiac signs operate on a 12-year cycle basis and 2019 is the Year of the Pig. This is a Year of Earth Pig, starting from February 5, 2019 (Chinese New Year) and lasting to January 24, 2020.

The ancient zodiac operates on a 12-year cycle as it includes 12 animal zodiac symbols: The Rat, The Ox, The Tiger, The Rabbit, The Dragon, The Snake, The Horse, The Sheep, The Monkey, The Rooster, The Dog and The Pig. 

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/02/03: Lanterns seen

(Streets decorated in Chinatown, London. Photo: Getty) 

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However, the 12-year cycle is combined with five elements - wood, fire, earth, gold and water - and other important Chinese symbols to create a variation of 60 possible combinations to occur - which is why this year is the year of the Earth Pig. 

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/02/03: Lanterns seen

(Aerial view of a light show to celebrate Spring Festival on February 3, 2019 in Xi an, Shaanxi Province of China. Chinese people are preparing for the Spring Festival, the Year of Pig, which will fall on February 5 according to Chinese calendar. Photo: Getty) 

Chinese New Year is one of the most important Chinese holidays, especially when it comes to the food. Chinese families prepare a variety of dishes served on this day. Dishes vary from region to region, and family to family, however there are some common dishes on every table, like spring rolls, dumplings, soup and steamed fish. 

Here are 6 places to celebrate Chinese New Year in South Africa: 

Cape Town

1. Sea Palace, Long Street (021 791 0659) 

Hurry! The Sea Palace is hosting a Chinese New Year R300 per person dinner promising delectable courses (upon courses) on Monday, 4 February. 

2. Tao Yuan Asian Restaurant, Sea Point (021 434 0065) 

This is an establishment. The owner, “Auntie Mary” has served-up authentic Cantonese cuisine here for many, many years. 

3. Hesheng, Sea Point (closed on Tuesdays, so go here to celebrate on Monday, 4 February or Wednesday, 6 February)

This is perhaps one of the most authentic Chinese eateries in Cape Town, if not South Africa. Here you'll find delectable Chinese cuisine like Xiao Long Bao for cheap.

READ: No reservations needed - Cape Town restaurants where you don't require a booking during the busy summer season 

Johannesburg

4. First Chinatown, City Centre

Head down on the 23rd of February to First Chinatown on Commissioner Street in the centre of Jozi. Munch on traditional treats from food stalls, watch dancing Chinese dragons and lions and see some epic fireworks.  

Set in the very heart of Jozi, this eatery serves superb Chinese cuisine. Expect a bevy of goodness as the restaurant celebrated Chinese New Year on 16 February. Book now!

6. Nan Hua Temple, Bronkhorstspruit

On 10 February 2019, the Nan Hua Temple will play host to a variety of traditional events to celebrate Chinese New Year. Visit this beautiful place and take part in a cultural experience like no other. 

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