Buenos Aires’ Chinatown is gearing up to ring in the Year of the Rat on January 25.
Officially, Chinese New Year is celebrated on the second new moon after the winter solstice. The ringing in of the new year 4718 conveniently falls on the weekend of January 25th this year and will be celebrated throughout the weekend, culminating in celebrations on February 2 the following weekend.
The festivities include the yearly dragon dance through the streets, advanced martial arts demonstrations, a Korean percussion performance, acrobatics and the obligatory tango demonstrations made up of Argentine and Asian-Argentine dancers.
Stands offer a wide variety of budget-friendly and delicious Asian street food, calligraphy demonstrations and exotic plants for sale. There will be Tai Chi classes given by Master Liu Ming, Pope Francis‘ former Chinese doctor.
Chinese New Year will be celebrated in Barrio Chino starting on the 25th and 26th, with additional performances beginning the next weekend at 12 p.m. on Sunday, February 2.
Forty thousand people have already expressed their intent to participate at the final event this year.
Chinese New Year Celebration through the Years
The number of attendees to Buenos Aires’ Chinese New Year celebrations has grown exponentially the last decade beginning with the 2011 festival — the year Buenos Aires decided Chinese culture was cool and a record 60,000 visitors overwhelmed organizers.
According to the Buenos Aires Human Rights and Cultural Department, there are 200,000 Chinese citizens in Argentina, mostly from the Fujian province. Chinese citizens make up the fourth largest immigrant group in Argentina and have become part of the cultural fabric of the country.
“A lot more Argentines are studying Chinese now to operate in the business world,” says Maria Antonía Diaz, secretary at the Chinese-Argentine Cultural Association, one of the groups organizing of the event. “Others are drawn to this area because of the variety of businesses and an interest in the rich culture of China.”
To accommodate the growing crowds at Chinese New Year Celebrations, the principle stage for the final act is no longer in central Chinatown, or the nearby Plaza Barrancas de Belgrano, where it was originally relocated.
After also outgrowing that location, ending celebrations now take place some blocks away at Plaza Parques Nacionales (Av. Figueroa Alcorta and Sucre).
Year of the Metal Rat
The lunar new year begins on January 25, 2020 and ends on February 11, 2021.
Chinese diviners predict this yang year will be an overall successful year in the areas of business, love and reaching new life plateaus. Those who harness their creative powers to reach their goals, must be careful to pay attention to the details though. It is an especially auspicious year for starting a business or purchasing real estate.
4718 will also be a positive year for health and well-being of individuals overall. Exercise is highlighted as an important element in remaining healthy and cutting down on the stress that newfound success will bring.
The Year of the Rat is especially lucky for the Chinese zodiac signs of Dragon, Monkey, Pig and Oxen.
Chinese New Year’s Celebrations Buenos Aires: 2020
• Saturday 25th & Sunday the 26th
Arribeños and Juramento
• Sunday, February 2, 12:00 p.m.- 9 p.m.
Plaza Parques Nacionales Argentinos, Av. Figueroa Alcorta, between Sucre y Echeverría
*In case of rain, activities will take place the following weekend
• Barrio Chino (& how to get there)