Chinese New Year, will be celebrated in London beginning on the 28th and will last a whopping 15 days! Unluckily, in the UK we only have the first couple of days of the weekend in which we can celebrate. Many people, Chinese or otherwise, will be saying the phrases such as ‘Xin Nian Kuai Le’ in Mandarin or ‘San Nin Faai Lok’ in Cantonese. In London, the celebration will take place on the 29th January 2017, in Chinatown, so you can catch the dragon or lion dance on Gerrard Street. Make sure to catch the spirit of Chinese New Year!
This is the year of the Rooster. The Rooster signifies honesty and physical and moral fortitude. The rooster is almost synonymous with the phrase ‘rise and shine’ and their call signifies the breaking of the sun.
There are many different variations of how the 12 zodiacs came about; whether it originated from the Chinese Emperor or the Buddha. As mothers would recount to their children of times of old, there was a great race to determine which of the animals would have the honour of claiming the first year. The rat, using his cunningness, was able to utilise the ox’s strength to beat everyone to the finish line. Legend has it rat ‘forgot’ to tell the cat, so it is thought that the eternal enmity began since then. The Rooster along with the Goat and the Monkey were able to make it to the finish line on a raft, resulting in 8th, 9th and 10th place.
Chinese New Year marks the beginning of the Spring season, in which families came together (yes, even the extended family) to enjoy food together. Some special dishes that are usually eaten are dumplings, rice cakes and other special delicacies. There is also the annual spring cleaning to rid the house of evil spirits lurking inside…mwuhahahaahha.
It also a marks a time for children to make money from grandparents (and married couples). This is commonly in the form of red packets, hung bao, with lots of money inside. This was to inspire prosperity and good fortune within the family. Firecrackers and poppers are heard throughout the day and long into the night.
We hope you enjoy this Chinese New Year, and the Pitstop team wish you a prosperous new year and good health!