Chinese New Year starts on 12 February. The traditional Chinese calendar is a lunar calendar, with twelve months of twenty-nine or thirty days that begin on the first day of a new moon. Leap months, rather than days, are added as needed, to be attuned with the seasons. This is the year of the Ox, the second of the 12-year periodic sequence of animals related to the Chinese calendar.

According to legend a beast called a Nian emerges from its hiding place once a year to attack humans. Luckily, this mythological creature is sensitive to explosions, fire and the colour red. Therefore, traditional Chinese New Year celebrations are marked by fireworks, loud banging, and red costumes.

Sadly, this year there are no Chinatown festivities in London. Hopefully next year. The Royal Museums Greenwich have some fun online activities for Chinese New Year.