Chinese New Year marks one of the most exciting, colourful and energetic celebrations. If you are someone who loves to travel and experience a different culture, celebrating Chinese New Year the traditional way is something you have to tick off your to-do list. Aside from China itself, Hong Kong seems to be one of the most popular areas for tourists during this time of year, as there is a wealth of events going on. This blog post will reveal all you need to know about the incredible celebration and how you can celebrate it in style this year.
There is only one place to begin… What is Chinese New Year? This is the most important holiday in China. It is a celebration of the coming year, yet it begins on the first day of the lunar calendar. This means it is held on different dates every year. The upcoming Chinese New Year celebration commences on Tuesday, 5th February 2019. However, don’t be fooled; the celebrations don’t only last a mere day. This is a 15-day long celebration! Unsurprisingly, this makes it the longest holiday in China. At present we are currently in the Year of the Dog, but once 5th February strikes it will become the Year of the Boar.
The significance of this celebration can be found within the myths and traditions that surround it. In the past, the festival was traditionally seen as a time to honour deities and ancestors. In mythology, Chinese New Year was the start of a battle against Nian – a mythical beast. The story goes that Nian would arrive on New Year’s Day to eat children, villagers, crops, and livestock. For protection, the villagers put food in front of their door so it wouldn’t attack. They also hung red lanterns and spring scrolls on their windows and doors, as they believed Nian was afraid of this colour.
Even today there is a wealth of incredible traditions that really show how special this celebration is in Chinese culture. The following are some of the most typical traditions…
· Fireworks – Launched not only to celebrate the coming year but also to drive away evil.
· New Year’s Eve Dinner – An important dinner where all of the family get together. Traditionally dish and dumplings will be the two main dishes on offer.
· Cleaning – A few days before the celebration people do a full clean of their home to mark getting rid of the old and welcoming the new.
· Fortune teller – What does the New Year hold? A lot of people visit a fortune teller in the days coming up to this celebration.
· Red packets – Red packets containing money, up to a few thousand Chinese Yuan, are given to children to suppress evil.
You can expect a great number of activities during the Chinese New Year. It is something everyone should experience at least once. You can check out the UK’s leading direct lender for guarantor loans if you cannot afford to pay for your holiday upfront. You can then pay off your holiday month-by-month when you return.
As mentioned, Hong Kong is a great option. The Lunar New Year Fireworks Display is particularly popular. It takes place on the Victoria Harbour and is free to attend. However, events such as the Night Parade require you to book a seat. This event is a must. It involves 13 elaborately decorated floats, international performers, and much more!