Chinese New Year 2016

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, has more than 4,000 years of history and is the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The event is marked by the lunisolar calendar, causing it to fall on a different date each year.

This year - the year of the monkey - begins on February 8th 2016 and lasts until January 27th 2017.

The festival is officially celebrated for seven consecutive days from Chinese New Year’s Eve until the sixth day after Chinese New Year’s Day. Following a daily schedule, this is a time for families to unite together and participate in various traditions, with food playing a key role.

Families begin preparing for celebrations by thoroughly cleaning their houses, worshiping the Kitchen God and shopping for festival items. On the Eve of the New Year, people indulge in a big reunion feast with their loved ones, this typically includes dumplings, fish or Niangao (rice cakes).

Fireworks and firecrackers are often set off and decorative ‘Spring Couplet’ (poetic blessings) are pasted around the community. People pass small red envelopes to one another as means of sharing happiness and blessing for the year ahead.

Chinese New Year celebrations throughout London are set to be the biggest in the world, outside of Asia. It’s worth heading to Chinatown on February 14th if you would like to witness the official festival parade in all its glory.

If you’d like to get into the spirit of the festival and add some delicious oriental recipes to your cooking repertoire, why not book a space on our Tastes of the Orient class with William Grinsted. 


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