Chinese New Year, also known as 'Spring Festival', celebrates the end of the Winter Season and marks the first day of the Chinese New Year, which this year falls on Sunday February the 10th. Celebrations last for 15 days, from Chinese New Year, to Lantern Festival on the 15th day.
In 2013, it's the year of the snake. People born in the year of the snake are considered to be calm and patient and not quick to lose their temper. But whilst they prefer a quiet, undisturbed stress-free life, they may become stressed and angry if disturbed!
Ahead of the celebrations, people thoroughly clean their house to sweep away any ill-fortune and make way for good luck to come in. They will also decorate their windows and doors in red and gold with messages of good fortune, happiness and prosperity. The Eve of Chinese New Year is celebrated with a feast, known as the reunion dinner, of meat such as pork, duck and chicken followed by entertainment, such as firecrackers, to end the night.
On the first day of the New Year itself, the emphasis is around family. People will go to visit their relatives, and children are given red packets which contain money. The colour red is very important as this symbolises luck and wealth.
The Amoy Food van will be touring the UK, visiting four major city centres, in the build-up to the Chinese New Year celebrations. Why not come along on the day – as well as sampling some Amoy cuisine, cooked by specialist chefs, there will be money off coupons and recipe ideas to try at home:
- Glasgow Buchanan Street on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th January, 2013.
- Manchester Exchange Square on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th January, 2013.
- Birmingham Bullring on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd February, 2013.
- London Southbank on Saturday 9th February, 2013.
- London Trafalgar Square (next to the Chinese New Year celebrations) on Sunday 10th February, 2013.