Chinese New Year: Traditions and Celebrations

Chinese New Year: Traditions and Celebrations

Chinese New Year: Traditions and Celebrations

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  • Author: MyVillage

Chinese New Year: Traditions and Celebrations



Feature

18 Feb 2007

Chinese New Year is a tradition stretching back centuries and to Chinese communities at home and abroad it’s as important a celebration as Christmas in Europe or Thanksgiving in America with as much thought and preparation going in to the event and just as many superstitions and traditions involved.

Preparations for the New Year begin a month in advance with presents bought, decorations hung and houses cleaned from top to bottom to sweep away bad luck while, in China, doors and windows are given a fresh coat of paint.  The festivities really begin however on New Year’s Eve with the whole family, donning their finest red garb (the Chinese symbol of good luck) coming together for a feast of seafood, dumplings and seaweed, with each dish representing good luck, fortune and longevity.  Following dinner fireworks are lit to welcome in the New Year at midnight, this symbolises the sending away of the old year.

On New Year’s Day the tradition of Hong Bao commences with red packets of money given to children and unmarried adults before people take to the streets to greet their neighbours.  The end of the celebrations are marked by the Festival of Lanterns, the singing and dancing street festivities that we recognise in the West as the usual Chinese New Year event.

Throughout the UK Chinese New Year is celebrated with fabulous street parties complete with dancing ladies, music and the infamous dragon.  The most well known of these celebrations takes place in London’s Chinatown, an event which draws in thousands of onlookers every year.


2007 Year of the Pig

According to the Chinese, 2007 is Year of the Pig, beginning on February 18, 2007 and ending on February 6, 2008. To me this sounds like a great deal, pigs are highly intelligent and resourceful, plus they get to wallow about all day eating – what more could you ask for?

Due to the inherent nature of the Pig, you can expect 2007 to be a year filled with entertainment, fun and joy. The Pig is a very good-natured individual and makes a wonderful friend. They are a bundle of fun to be around and are always honest and caring, compassionate and peaceful individuals.

2007 specifically is the year of the Fire Pig and as such anyone who is born this year can be sure be to active, outgoing and extroverted, breathing life into everything they associate themselves with.

What’s Your Sign?
According to legend Buddha called twelve animals to him before he left earth, those twelve now rule over their relative years and lend their characteristics to those born under them…so are you a slippery snake or a cuddly rabbit?

Rat:
1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008
Rats are charming and generous but can be snappy and critical.
Famous Rats: Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Prince Harry

Ox:
1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009
Born leaders, Oxen are strong and reliable.
Famous Oxen: Kate Beckinsale, George Clooney, Keira Knightley

Tiger:
1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010
Tigers are said to be strong adventurous as well as being real risk takers.
Famous Tigers: Charlotte Church, Robbie Williams, Kate Moss

Rabbit:
1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011
Although affectionate and friendly Rabbits can be a bit vain.
Famous Rabbits: Jamie Oliver, David Beckham, Brad Pitt

Dragon:
1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1989, 2000
Fun loving and popular, Dragons are the life and soul of the party.
Famous Dragons: Teri Hatcher, Elle MacPherson, John Lennon

Snake:
1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1990, 2001
Although sometimes selfish, Snakes are romantic and wise.
Famous Snakes: Orlando Bloom, Sarah Jessica Parker, Liv Tyler

Horse:
1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1991, 2002
Horses are hardworking and intelligent but look out for that self absorbed streak!
Famous Horses: Jordan, Katie Holmes, Kanye West

Sheep:
1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1992, 2003
Sheep are said to be artistic and charming but can’t resist a good moan.
Famous Sheep: Jodie Marsh, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts

Monkey:
1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1993, 2004
Lucky Monkeys are intelligent and loved by all.
Famous Monkeys: Kylie Minogue, Jessica Simpson, Jake Gyllenhall

Rooster:
1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1994, 2005
The most hard working of all the animals, Roosters can come across as bossy.
Famous Roosters: Sienna Miller, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton

Dog:
1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1995, 2006
Faithful is any Dog’s middle name but they can sometimes worry too much.
Famous Dogs: Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Kirsten Dunst

Pig/Boar:
1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1996, 2007
Born entertainers, Boars are tolerant of all and make great friends.
Famous Boars: Elton John, Ewan McGregor, Kate Bosworth


MyVillage, 19th October

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