One of the most high-profile and colourful celebrations that takes place in cities all across the world each year is the Chinese New Year, also known in China as Spring Festival - but when is the next one, and after what animal will it be named?

The Chinese horoscope is on a 12-year cycle, with each year named after an animal. 2017, which began on Saturday January 28, is the Year of the Rooster, which is characterised by independence, honesty and punctuality, but also a tendency towards being overly emotional.

Next year's Chinese New Year begins on February 16, 2018, and is the Year of the Dog. People born in the dog cycle (which includes the years 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994 and 2006) are honest, loyal and have integrity, but an inability to communicate can give an appearance of stubbornness.

Regional customs to mark the start of the New Year can vary, but widely practised ones include cleaning the house to sweep away misfortune and welcome the opportunity of a New Year, and giving gifts of money in red paper envelopes to symbolise good luck. 

Celebrations will take place on Sunday February 18 in many cities across Britain, with London hosting one of the biggest celebrations anywhere in the world outside Asia.

There will be a parade through Chinatown and the West End, including lion and dragon dances, finishing with a big stage performance in Trafalgar Square, and a fireworks display.

And for those hoping to see in the Chinese New Year in the authentic fashion, in Mandarin, Happy New Year is "Xin Nian Kuai Le" (pronounced "sheen nian kwai luh") while speakers of Cantonese say "San Nin Faai Lok" ("san knee fy lock").

What are the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac?

The 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac and their birth years (typically beginning around the end of January) are:

Rat (1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008)
Ox (1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009)
Tiger (1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010)
Rabbit (1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011)
Dragon (1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012)
Snake (1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013)
Horse (1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014)
Goat (1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015)
Monkey (1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016)
Rooster (1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017)
Dog (1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018)
Pig (1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019)