Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is a major holiday celebrated by Chinese people around the world. In the United Kingdom, Chinese New Year is celebrated in cities with large Chinese populations, such as London, Manchester, and Birmingham.
The exact date of Chinese New Year changes each year, as it is based on the lunar calendar. This year (2023), the Chinese New Year will fall on January 22nd and will be celebrated until February 17th. The holiday is traditionally a time for families to come together and celebrate the beginning of the new year.
During Chinese New Year, many people in the UK participate in traditional activities such as decorating their homes with red lanterns and paper cuttings, setting off fireworks, and giving red envelopes filled with money to children and unmarried adults. There are also parades and cultural events held in cities throughout the country, featuring traditional Chinese music, dance, and food.
In London, the biggest celebration of Chinese New Year takes place in Chinatown, where there is a grand parade featuring colourful floats, lion dancers, and acrobats. The parade is followed by a street fair, where visitors can try authentic Chinese food and browse stalls selling traditional crafts and gifts.
Chinese New Year is a time of great significance in Chinese culture, as it marks the beginning of the lunar calendar and the start of a new year. It is a time for families to come together and celebrate their cultural traditions, as well as to honour their ancestors.
One of the most well-known traditions of Chinese New Year is the decorating of homes with red lanterns and paper cuttings. Red is considered a lucky colour in Chinese culture, and it is believed to bring good luck and prosperity for the coming year. Paper cuttings, which are usually made from red paper, are also used to decorate homes and streets during the Chinese New Year. These cuttings are often shaped like animals or other symbols of good fortune.
Fireworks are another important tradition during Chinese New Year. It is believed that the noise of the fireworks will drive away evil spirits and bring good luck for the coming year. Fireworks displays can be seen in cities and towns across the UK during the celebrations.
Red envelopes, known as “hongbao” in Chinese, are another popular tradition during Chinese New Year. These envelopes are filled with small amounts of money and are given to children and unmarried adults as a symbol of good luck and prosperity. It is customary for married couples to give red envelopes to their unmarried friends and family members.
Chinese New Year is also a time for delicious food and gatherings with friends and family. Many people in the UK celebrate by having a Chinese-themed feast, featuring dishes such as dumplings, roast pork, and fish. It is also customary to serve oranges, as they are believed to bring good luck and prosperity.
If you’re in the UK during Chinese New Year, there are many ways to celebrate and experience the festivities. In London, the biggest celebration takes place in Chinatown, where there is a grand parade featuring colourful floats, lion dancers, and acrobats. The parade is followed by a street fair, where visitors can try authentic Chinese food and browse stalls selling traditional crafts and gifts.
There are also cultural events and activities held in cities across the UK, including traditional music and dance performances, art exhibits, and cooking demonstrations. It’s a great opportunity to learn about and experience Chinese culture, as well as to join in the celebrations with friends and family.