Lucien, 6, who is half-Chinese, lives in Bridgend with his parents. This week, Lucien will be travelling to Singapore with his parents to celebrate Chinese New Year. We speak to Lucien and his family to learn more about this festival.
What is Chinese New Year?
Chinese New Year is the most important festival in the Chinese culture. It falls on a different date each year depending on the movements of the moon. This year, Chinese New Year is on Saturday 28th January 2017. It will be the Year of the Rooster. Everyone tries to spend this time with their families and friends, even if it means they have to make very long journeys, like we do!
How do you celebrate Chinese New Year?
On the eve of Chinese New Year, we sit around the table to have our “reunion dinner”, very much like how families gather around to have Christmas dinner. But instead of turkey and potatoes, we have fish, as it symbolises having plenty in life. We also eat barbecued pork slices, seafood and a special raw fish salad called “yu sheng”, which we toss together with our chopsticks for good luck.
What happens on New Year’s Day?
On New Year’s Day, we dress up in special outfits. Children receive red packets called “hong bao” which contain money. Red is a very lucky colour for the Chinese. We visit our relatives to wish them “gong xi fa cai”, which means “wishing you lots of wealth” and we eat more food!
Are there many things to do during Chinese New Year?
Before Chinese New Year, we tidy our homes and put up red decorations. At night, we can watch firework displays in different areas of the city. They are very colourful and bright. The city also comes alive with beautiful lanterns and light installations. In the day, many lion dance performances take place on the streets or at shopping malls.
What is your favourite part of Chinese New Year?
Our favourite part of Chinese New Year is celebrating with our family in Singapore as we only get to see them once a year.
Many cities and towns in the UK plan special activities to celebrate Chinese New Year. Last year for example, there were performances and workshops in the Wales Millennium Centre for children and families to take part.
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