Chinese New Year (CNY) is a vibrant and elaborate celebration deeply rooted in Chinese culture. In many cases, it’s the time of year (not unlike Christmas in the west) where families take time off work, come together, eat, give gifts and welcome the arrival of the new lunar year with celebrations. Whether you are of Chinese descent or simply intrigued by this bright and beautiful celebration, we've got you the comprehensive guide on how to get in the know in time to bring in the new year of the Dragon!
The Chinese zodiac is a 12-year cycle with every year associated with a specific animal sign, each animal is believed to reflect certain personality traits and fortunes of individuals born in that year. This year we’re welcoming a dragon year- associated with powerful, ambitious, and confident traits, those born in this year are often considered to have a special destiny and charisma. The Year of the Dragon is celebrated as a time of opportunity, abundance, and great potential and it’s believed to be a favourable year for embarking on new ventures, pursuing ambitious goals, and experiencing personal growth, so take this as your sign to go get your goals!
There are many traditions in the CNY celebrations that have withstood the test of time and are practised each and every year, one of the most anticipated are the Red Envelopes. The tradition of giving red envelopes is an integral part of Chinese New Year giving. Given out by married couples only, these envelopes contain money and are given to children and unmarried people as a symbol of good luck and blessings… So if you’re thinking about it, maybe wait a few more months before tying the knot.
Fireworks and firecrackers are lit over CNY to drive away evil spirits and welcome the new year with a bang, and many communities celebrate with a colourful lion and dragon dance in street parades. These dances are believed to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits… and dragon dances will be super popular this year, celebrating the Year of the Dragon!
You may notice around CNY, many businesses and homes become decorated in red lanterns and infused with red hues. This is no coincidence, this colour has been seen as a symbol of good luck and fortune in Chinese communities for a very very long time. An absolute non negotiable is to wear red during this time too, a full red outfit or just an accessory here and there would work- Head over to our Rocking Red: The Style Guide, for a few tips on how you can sport this auspicious colour ready for CNY.
Chinese New Year is a time of joy, unity, and renewal. Whether you are Chinese or not, embracing the customs and traditions associated with this celebration is a great way to experience the culture. Put together a fire red outfit, participate in the dragon dances and check out your own Chinese zodiac sign to fully immerse yourself in the spirit of Chinese New Year. We’re wishing you all a fortunate Year of the Dragon and hope to see you diving head first into this favourable year of new adventures and exciting challenges… 恭喜发财 !