After the fun and frivolity of Christmas and the New Year, January can seem a little drab and dismal. With drizzly cold weather, a tight budget and a punishing health fix (those New Year Resolutions can be killers!), the month seems to go on forever. However hold on in there, spring is around the corner and we’ve got the colour and excitement of the Chinese New Year to brighten up the end of the month.
Known in modern Chinese as the “Spring Festival”, the first day of the New Year falls on the new moon between 21 January and 20 February, so for 2017 the year of the Red Fire Chicken or the Rooster (depending on who you ask) starts on Saturday 28th January. So it’s goodbye to the fickle finances from the Year of the Monkey (did we heed those warnings to stay vigilant, keep our emotions in check and try to avoid hasty decisions?) and hello to those trustworthy roosters. If you were born in 1957 or 2017 then you too are a fire rooster – you’re responsible at work and have a strong sense of timekeeping. According to the Metro, roosters who take the initiative will make good career achievements in the upcoming year.
It’s a major holiday for the Chinese, as well as a time to honour deities. Families gather together for a reunion dinner eating fish and dumplings as they symbolise prosperity. Firecrackers are used to signal the end of last year and the beginning of the next because, well they’re fun, and they ward off evil spirits (watch out Donald Trump!). Many clean their houses to sweep away bad fortune, and give red envelopes stuffed with “lucky money” to children, along with written wishes for their kids to grow up healthy. However, according to the Mirror, this old tradition has been touched by the digital age with the creation of red envelope apps where people can exchange cyber money!
London’s Chinese New Year is a key event in the capital’s annual events calendar which attracts over 700,000 people. The main celebrations are at Trafalgar Square, Chinatown and the West End on Sunday 29 January – well if there’s one thing we’re good at in London, it’s throwing a party! Not to be outdone, the Lastminute.com London Eye will be hosting a weekend of surprise and fun with Dragon dancers, Chinese fortune cookies, appearances from Kung Fu Panda and a special red and gold light show. To get the best vantage point of the celebrations why not book a London Eye Private Capsule where you can see up to 40km across the capital? You could start the year of the Rooster in style with a glass of chilled Pommery Brut Royal Champagne, and your own private view of London’s Chinese New Year celebrations. Now that would be something to crow about!