Here at The Fizzy Tarté, we love to celebrate, with New Year being a highlight on the social calendar. Therefore, we thought we would look into the festivities that take place on Chinese New Year, or ‘Spring Festival’ as it’s known in modern Chinese, which falls on January 28th (dates change depending on the traditional Chinese lunar calendar). The festival is always a sight to behold, with extravagant parades and dragon dances, fire crackers, and a sea of colour. With this is mind, we have highlighted just a few of the customs that are associated with the holiday (which are also very easy to take part in!)
Although not everyone will have some traditional Chinese clothing just hanging in their wardrobe, if you do, this is the perfect time to fashion these beautiful silk garments. Often in gold or red, the clothes are associated with good luck, happiness and wealth.
Red Envelopes or Hongbao
A common custom at New Year is the giving and receiving of red envelopes containing sums of money. Nice. The envelopes are red as the Chinese see the colour as a symbol of energy, happiness and good luck. Although the money is naturally a lovely gift to receive, it’s actually the red paper in which the money is wrapped which is significant as it’s expected to bring the receiver joy and blessings.
Chinese New Year is a celebration full of impressive colours and decorations. If you are wanting to take part, decorate your house or place of work with items including: Chinese red lanterns (believed to drive off bad luck), door couplets expressing good wishes for the coming year, and blooming flowers (typically blossoms, orchids, peonies & peach blossoms) which illustrate a prosperous new year.
Like many annual holidays, food plays a large part in Chinese New Year, with certain dishes representing different things. For example, fish signifies an increase in prosperity, dumplings & spring roles are associated with wealth, and noodles are a symbol for happiness & longevity.
Family & Loved Ones
Chinese New Year is an occasion traditionally spent with family and loved ones, with family members often traveling significant distances for the holiday. The New Year’s Eve dinner is called the ‘reunion dinner’, and it’s considered the most important meal of the year. Several generations will sit together and enjoy a meal with traditional food and drink. Seems like the PERFECT excuse to call the local takeaway…