Chinese New Year in Hong Kong

After most of us have finally gotten out of our compulsory arrival quarantine in Hong Kong, we are happy to celebrate the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival together

The Chinese New Year celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. This year we are leaving the year of the Ox behind and entering the year of the Tiger. In the Chinese zodiac it is associated with bravery and strength. Previous years of the Tiger were 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 2010 and now 2022. While 2010 was a Gold Tiger year, 2022 is a every 60 years occurring Water year, signifying ambition, competitive spirit, impulsiveness and communication.

The history of the Lunar New Year is over 3,000 years old. One legend tells of the mythical beast Nian (sounding the same as 'year' in Mandarin), which shows up every Lunar New Year's Eve to eat people and livestock. To scare away the beast, people used red paper and clothes and lit candles.

Today, the practices somewhat resemble the traditions from the tale. The festivities are kicked off by cleaning the house in order to sweep away the bad luck of the preceding year and make room to receive good luck. Furthermore, many people visit their ancestors' graves before the Chinese New Year's day, to honor them before the reunion with the living family. Then on the Lunar New Years eve, everyone comes together for a traditional dinner with family or other loved ones. Food that is served is fish for prosperity, dumplings and spring rolls for wealth, longevity noodles, sweet rice balls (Tangyuan) for togetherness, rice cake (niangao) for a promotion and good fortune fruits.