Chinese New Year is upon us, and here at iD Mobile, we’re celebrating!
Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, starts on January 25th and finishes on February 4th – that’s 11 whole days of New Year’s celebrations! Every year has an animal sign based on the Chinese zodiac, and 2020 is the Year of the Rat.
The rat is the first of the twelve zodiac animals, restarting the new cycle. According to myth, the Jade Emperor decided the order of the animals according to the order they arrived at his party. The rat tricked the Ox into giving him a ride, but as they arrived at the finish line, the Rat jumped down and landed first. For people born in the year of the rat, 2, 3, 6, and 8 are all lucky numbers and gold, blue and green are lucky colours.
From big meals with family to lantern and firework displays, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Here, we’ll show you how you can get involved.
What do people do on Chinese New Year?
Chinese communities across the UK hold parades and public festivities to mark the first day of the new year. Celebrations often include:
- Lion dances in city centres
- Traditional and contemporary Chinese music and dance performances
- Decorating your home in the lucky colour red
- Gifting money in lucky red envelopes
- Communal meals and traditional Chinese food tasting sessions
- Arts and crafts exhibitions with work by Chinese artists and sculptors
- Lantern and firework displays
Most events are open to the public and are welcoming to people of all backgrounds, and they’re a great way to learn more about Chinese culture. In London, the most famous New Year event happens in Soho’s Chinatown. However, there are loads more events in London to get involved in. And you’ll also find big celebrations in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds Birmingham and Sheffield.
Chinese New Year foods
Families, community centres and student groups also hold private celebrations to mark New Year. They can be small parties at home or big events for hundreds of people. If you’re going to a communal meal to celebrate, you’ll find special foods that symbolise good fortune.
Just like the colour red, traditional New Year foods also represent luck. Fish is a popular choice throughout the festival, as it sounds similar to the Chinese word for ‘surplus’. One of the biggest Spring Festival traditions is to have a family reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve, where you’ll find the luckiest Chinese New Year foods. Here are just a few of them:
- Fish – represents an increase in prosperity
- Rice cakes – represent greater income or a higher position
- Chinese dumplings – represent great wealth
Even if you’ve never celebrated Chinese New Year before, why not give it a go and make this year your luckiest yet? There are plenty of things you can do to mark the occasion! You could have a big family dinner, head to your nearest city and catch the festivities, or brighten up your home with red lanterns and decorations.
Whatever you do to bring in the Year of the Rat, let us know below, and have a great New Year!