Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, is a vibrant and significant celebration for Chinese communities around the world. In 2024, we welcome the Year of the Dragon – a symbol of power, strength, and good fortune. At WrxFlo, we join in the festivities and celebrate the rich traditions and cultural heritage of Chinese New Year.
The Significance of Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is deeply rooted in ancient traditions and beliefs. It follows the lunar calendar, with the date varying each year between January 21 and February 21. The festival is celebrated not only in China but also in many countries with significant Chinese populations.
The Chinese Zodiac plays a central role in Chinese New Year celebrations. Each year is associated with one of the twelve animals of the zodiac, and 2024 is dedicated to the majestic Dragon. The Dragon is regarded as a symbol of power, courage, and prosperity, making this year particularly auspicious.
Christina’s Chinese New Year
In my family, the first thing we do to celebrate Chinese New Year is to thoroughly clean the house to sweep away bad luck and welcome the new year.
We also decorate the house with red everywhere which is an auspicious colour during the Chinese New Year. We hang red lanterns in and outside the house and have a large Chinese character LUCK(福) displayed on our front door.
The Chinese New Year celebration culminates in a grand New Year’s Eve dinner, where my family members gather around a table filled with traditional dishes. Fish, representing abundance and prosperity, is a must-have dish. The word for fish, “鱼” (yú), sounds similar to the word for surplus, symbolising a surplus of wealth and good fortune. Other traditional dishes include dumplings, which resemble gold ingots and symbolise wealth.
One of the most exciting aspects of Chinese New Year for children and young adults is the tradition of receiving red envelopes, known as “红包” (hóngbāo). These red envelopes contain money and are given by older family members as a token of good luck and blessings for the new year. The act of receiving red envelopes symbolises the passing on of prosperity and well wishes.
Following the New Year’s Eve dinner, my family gather to watch the New Year’s Eve gala, a live TV show broadcasted annually on New Year’s Eve. The New Year’s Eve gala is a celebration of Chinese culture and showcases traditional music, dance, acrobatics, and more. It is a time for people to come together, both in person and virtually, to celebrate the arrival of the new year with joy and excitement.
At midnight on New Year’s Eve, the sky comes alive with a vibrant display of fireworks and firecrackers. The loud sounds and colorful explosions are believed to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck for the coming year. The spectacle of fireworks lighting up the night sky is a symbol of hope, renewal, and new beginnings.
In the days following New Year’s Eve, people continue to celebrate Chinese New Year by visiting temples to pray for good fortune, watching captivating street performances such as Lion and Dragon dances, and exchanging well wishes with friends and loved ones. The festive atmosphere fills the streets as communities come together to share in the joy and blessings of the new year.
What Chinese New Year means to me
When I was a child, nothing was more exciting to me than receiving red envelopes on Chinese New Year. As I grew older, I came to realise that it was not the money or gifts I received that made my Chinese New Year memorable, but rather the time spent with my family. My first year studying in Ireland was the first time I was not at home during Chinese New Year. Instead, I gathered with my Chinese friends to celebrate. We cooked a hotpot dinner and watched the New Year’s Eve gala. Celebrating Chinese New Year allowed me to reconnect with my culture heritage, no matter where I was.
This year, I’ll continue the tradition of celebrating Chinese New Year with my friends and connecting with my family online. No matter how I celebrate Chinese New Year, two things will always remain constant: good food and good company.
At WrxFlo, we embrace the beauty and diversity of cultures around the world. Chinese New Year is a time to celebrate unity, prosperity, and the power of community. As we welcome the Year of the Dragon in 2024, we extend our warmest wishes to all, and we invite you to join us in celebrating this joyous occasion.
May the Year of the Dragon bring you strength, success, and boundless opportunities. Happy Chinese New Year!