With Chinese New Year just around the corner, we caught up with Wuon-Gean Ho, designer of The Royal Mint’s Shēngxiào UK Lunar Coin collection, to find out more about her Year of the Monkey coin design. This is now the third coin Wuon-Gean has designed for the Lunar coin collection, so we also took the opportunity to find out more about the lino cutting technique that she uses to create her designs.
The Chinese New Year is one of China’s oldest festivals, with records of it going back as far as the 14th century BC. As its date falls so differently to the New Year celebrated in the Western world, an explanation will help us to understand why that’s so. It’s believed that Emperor Huangdi introduced the lunar calendar, based on the lunisolar cycle. This observes the moon phases and solar years to determine the exact date that Chinese New Year falls on, which will always be between 21st January and 21st February.