Year of The Oxen
Happy Lunar New Year! 新年快乐！
Our very own Humble Dumpling and his friend Ox are getting ready for the Lunar New Year celebrations. Let’s follow them on their journey to learn more about the festivities!
- Ox has finished work and is looking forward to his time off over Lunar New Year and spending time with friends and family. Typically during this period billions of people take time off work to visit family and friends from all over the world. It’s a time of reunion that normally would see the largest annual mass migration of people travelling home to be with their loved ones.
- Ox and Humble Dumpling set off on their travels to Chinatown London, excited at the prospect of reconnecting with family and friends for a celebratory New Year period.
- Ox and the Humble Dumpling stumble across a Plum Tree blossoming in the far distance. The tree reminds them of home as Plum Blossom is China’s national flower. There are five petals on a Plum Blossom, and each petal symbolises one of five blessings: longevity, prosperity, health, honour and good living.
- “The perfect gift for Ox’s family” thinks Humble Dumpling. Ox and Humble Dumpling decide to pick some to take with them. The Lunar New Year is a time for giving and the giving of gifts is very much about passing on good wishes and luck for the coming year.
- Ox and Humble Dumpling arrive at Chinatown London. The lantern-filled streets are full of energy, festivities and good cheer. Ox’s family welcomes the two of them, and they exchange good wishes and gifts.
- Ox and his family teach the Humble Dumpling about the customs and traditions of the new year. First we must clean the house explains Ox, to get rid of back luck and say goodbye to the past year.
- Next we need to hang up red decorations in our homes and in Chinatown demonstrates Ox. Because, red in China signifies happiness and good fortune! As red is China's lucky colour, we usually wear red clothes on New Year's Day, to go with the festive and upbeat mood.
- After cleaning and decorating, Ox and the Humble Dumpling and feeling hungry and ready for some food. Luckily, it’s time for a tasty new year feast featuring an abundance of celebratory foods such as hand-made dumplings, fish, longevity noodles, tangyuan, spring rolls, rice cake, and much more.
- Once full and content, the celebrations really begin. Ox and the Humble Dumpling gather with neighbours outside. Ox’s family hand the Humble Dumpling a red packet, as a thanks for all his hard work. A red packet (红包) is filled with money to give you good luck for the new year! Happy Chinese New Year! 新年快乐！