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Happy Chinese New Year!

Posted on February 08, 2016 by Fancy Dress Ball

Chinese New Year 2016

Happy Chinese New Year! Today marks the beginning of the celebrations for Chinese New Year. Yes, you read that right: the beginning of the celebrations. Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival and usually begins the day before New Year, running until the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the new year.

So what do you need to know about this Chinese New Year? Read on!

This year is the Year of the Monkey. People born in the Year of the Monkey are characterised as being curious, quick-witted, innovative and mischievous. The Year of the Monkey tends to be thought of as one of the most unlucky years in the Chinese calendar! After all, the last Year of the Monkey was 2004 – and that’s the year Friends ended and there was the infamous wardrobe malfunction at the Superbowl.

Famous people born under the Monkey sign include Julius Caesar, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis and Miley Cyrus.

Here is a list of things that Chinese tradition states we should avoid today:

  • Taking medicine on the first day of the new year means we’ll be ill all year
  • We should avoid doing our laundry today or tomorrow, as these days are celebrated as the birthday of Shuisen, the Water God.
  • We shouldn’t eat porridge for breakfast, as it is considered that only poor people eat porridge and you don’t want to start the year “poor.”
  • We should avoid using sharp objects such as knives or scissors as an accident may lead to inauspicious things and the depletion of wealth
  • If we sweep on this day, we will sweep away our wealth
  • If we wash our hair on this day, we risk washing away our good fortune
  • Money should not be lent on New Year’s Day, and debts should be paid by New Year’s Eve
  • Black or white clothing should be avoided today as these two colours are traditionall associated with mourning

How to say Happy New Year in Chinese

New Year Goodness: Xinnan hao
In Cantonese: sen-nin haow
In Mandarin: sshin-nyen haoww

Happiness and Prosperity: Gongxi facai
In Cantonese: Kunghei fatchoy/gong-hey faa-chwhy
In Mandarin: gong-sshee faa-tseye

Celebrations in London will begin next Sunday, the 14th, with a big lantern procession through London’s Chinatown.


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