Chinese New Year to bring about good fortune
The dawn of a new year brings about new hope and opportunities.
While many Newcastillians have already welcomed in the start of 2018, the Chinese New Year is set to take place on February 16.
The Chinese New Year, or the Lunar New Year, is an important Chinese festival celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar.
Each year is represented by part of the Chinese Zodiac, with this year marking the Year of the Dog.
With big celebrations planned in Asian countries, what does it mean to local Chinese families?
“Families get together on the day and enjoy meals together,” explained Judy Hsiao, a member of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Traditionally, families will eat dumplings which are shaped like old-dynasty money.
“Noodles are also eaten, as Chinese noodles are long and represent long health.”
Fish also forms a part of a traditional Chinese New Year meal.
As the new year also represents the Spring Festival, Judy says fireworks plays a big part of the celebrations.
“According to legend, fireworks chase evil spirits away,” she said.
But while a few local Chinese families will be celebrating with fireworks, it is not the only cultural festivity to have made its way in Newcastle.
“In older days, red meant good luck and many people would wear clothing with red.”
However, red envelopes containing money soon became a tradition over the years.
The envelopes meaning good luck.
“While adults give it to the children, the youngsters first need to show their parents a token of respect,” Judy said.
This token of respect could either be words of love or kindness.
“Some employers also give their employees the red envelopes.”
The Chinese New Year celebration lasts 15 days.
“The Lantern Festival takes place on the last day, where people write a wish on a note, put it into the lantern, light it up.”
The lantern carries the wishes to the heavens where the hopes of new heights are taken to new heights.