On the 28th January, China will welcome their lunar new year.
China is ready to wave goodbye to the year of the monkey and celebrate the arrival of the year of the rooster! Expect copious amounts of red, displays of lanterns, dancing dragons and fittingly rooster-related decorations.
What is it about?
Also known as “Spring Festival” Chinese New Year is a celebration of a year of hard work, and a time to rest and catch up time with family, as well as looking forward to the year ahead, with the significance on wishing for luck for the upcoming year. It is believed that a good start to the year will lead to a lucky year.
What are the traditions?
Many cultural activities are arranged during the festival. Rural parts of China keep a more traditional celebration than the cities, setting off firecrackers, ancestor worshipping and dragon dances. Meanwhile in the bigger cities, setting off impressive fireworks are displayed.
Like Christmas, there is an exchange of gifts. It is common for family members to give each other “lucky money”, red envelopes that have money inside.
People also eat lucky foods for increase in luck for the upcoming year such as fish, dumplings and spring rolls as well as wearing red underwear for luck!
Why is it important?
The Chinese New Year is celebrated across the world; roughly 1/6 of the world celebrates it. And for those who don’t, it serves as a reminder of a distinctively different culture worth celebrating.
The biggest celebrations
From dance routines and operas in Beijing, to flower and food markets in Hong Kong to Taiwan marking the end of the festive period by releasing hundreds of lanterns into the sky, to parades in New York, Singapore, Sydney, London and just about every international capital in the world.
So this Saturday, be aware, get involved – wear something red, find something bright, send a message back home, ultimately, have the excuse to celebrate another new year!
Happy New Year – Gong Xi Fa Cai!
I hope this lunar new year brings you luck, prosperity and happiness!