Chinese New Year
We’ve brought in the bells, done our first footing, eaten steak pie and are now facing 2019 head on. But why let that stop us from celebrating New Year again? Yes, we’re talking about Chinese New Year, and if you think the Scots take Hogmanay seriously, Chinese New Year always dazzles and amazes.
This year, The Year of the Pig, begins on the 5 th February and the 15 day festival, which dates back as early as the 14th century, starts with the arrival of the new moon. Celebrated worldwide with colourful street parades, luscious feasts and spectacular fireworks, every year is characterised by one of the 12 spirit animals of the Chinese Zodiac.
To celebrate The Year of the Pig, we’re hosting our very own festivities with a sumptuous pagoda and red carpet taking centre stage in our courtyard. There will also be craft workshops focusing on Chinese art on the 2 nd and 3 rd February running from 12pm to 4pm.
But what else happens during the festival? Here’s a few of the traditions associated with it:
- Family dinner. Similar to Christmas and Thanksgiving, indulging in tasty food surrounded by family is also the main event of Chinese New Year. It’s estimated that 3.5billion people will
travel to ring in the occasion with loved ones. The New Year’s Eve reunion dinner is made up of multiple dishes including dumplings, sticky rice cakes and steamed fish. It’s said that
eating fish will bring wealth and prosperity in the year ahead.
- Red Envelopes. These are cash gifts that older family members give to younger relations and can be anything from a few to hundreds of pounds. It’s also customary for bosses to present
them to employees. Taking a cue from this, on the 2 nd and 3 rd February, we’ll be handing out lucky envelopes containing a chance to win a prize. Shoppers who download the MyPrincesSquareApp will also be able to take advantage of various discounts in the stores and restaurants.
- Decorations. Or more specifically, red decorations. Associated with wealth and good fortune, red adorns every street, shopfront and home during this time. Lanterns, Chinese knots, banners and posters are hung displaying lucky characters or phrases.
- Fireworks. These are set off on New Year’s Day to banish ghosts and evil spirits while dance troupes and acrobats perform dragon and lion dances. Firecrackers made from strings of rolled paper…red of course…contain gunpowder that when set off leaves a stunning display of scarlet in the air.
- Cleaning. Okay, we know it’s not fun but giving your home a thorough clean is a symbolic ritual allowing you to brush away any bad luck from the past year. But be careful, avoid
dusting on New Year’s Day for fear that any good fortune will be swept away.
To find out more about what’s on at Princes Square over Chinese New Year visit https://princesssquare.wpengine.com/whats-on/chinese-new-year/