Happy Year of the Horse! As you may know, it is now the Chinese New Year, or ‘農曆新年’.
Chinese New Year is a major traditional Chinese holiday celebrated in countries around the world, not just in China! Countries around the world with Chinese populations will celebrate the new year in a festival that will usually fall in January or February and lasts over two weeks.
China is a big country, and the way people celebrate Chinese New Year can vary a lot. Often however people will come together for dinner, clean out their houses, and hang red decorations for good luck – and light fireworks, exchange gifts and money in red envelopes.
The festival is very old, and according to mythology it originates with a mythical monster, the Nian, who would come on the first day of the new year to eat children. People would put out food to distract it, and noticed that it was scared of the colour red, and thus hung red lanterns and decorations to scare the monster away for good.
Manchester has it’s own Chinese New Year parade which includes red decorations all over the city centre, lion dancers, martial arts demonstrations, art workshops and a 15 minute firework display in Manchester’s China town.
The International Office at MMU held a Chinese New Year party as well – celebrating with decorations and food.
We also hung charts around the room to let people find out which Zodiac year they were born in!
Do you know which Zodiac year you were born in, and what that says about you?