I DON’T want to alarm you but this is a week to watch out for big wobbly lions shaking their heids aboot.

Yep, the Chinese New Year is approaching. It’s different from the traditional western New Year when big wobbly men stagger aboot shaking their heids on December 31 and into January 1.

The Chinese New Year is a movable feast, based as it is on the lunar calendar and so falling anywhere from January 21 and February 20. This year, it begins on Friday, February 16, and we say “begins” because it lasts over a fortnight.

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It also ushers in a new animal year and, in 2018, it’s the turn of the dog. Anyone born in the Year of the Dog is said to be communicative, serious, independent, loyal and responsible in the workplace. I’m assuming that few of you have been or will be born in 2018 but, as the Chinese zodiac moves in 12-year cycles, mutts will also include those born in 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994 and 2006.

Dogs are said to enjoy harmonious relationships with those around them, though how happy they’ll be when the firecrackers are lit is anybody’s guess.

Probably more enjoyable for them will be the family reunion dinner, which traditionally takes place on New Year’s Eve while, next day, the house and the old year with it are given a good cleaning out.

You’d have to watch cleaning the floors, though, because this is considered bad luck by some on that day, as are cleaning clothes and using scissors. However, generally speaking, the dog signifies luck.

Luckily, many events are taking place in the country this week (and next), from tai chi classes – for example, at the National Museum of Scotland, in Edinburgh, on Friday – to dumpling-making, calligraphy and music at Glasgow Caledonian University on Saturday.

There will also be celebrations in Glasgow’s George Square, including dancing dragons, martial arts performances (and bagpipes!) on Sunday, though at the time of going to press the free tickets had been snapped up.

One intriguing event that caught our eye was a lecture on Friday, at St Cuthbert’s Church in Edinburgh’s west end, by local historian Barclay Price, whose subject is “the world’s first Chinese Scotsman”.

William Macao (1753-1831) journeyed from China first to the Black Isle and then to Edinburgh where he lived for over 50 years, rising to become a senior accountant at the Board of Excise.

Mr Macao is buried at St Cuthbert’s and will surely cock an ear to hear what’s being said about him.

The Chinese New Year begins on Friday.