Year of Goat by NiPic

Year of Goat by NiPic

Chinese New Year (CNY) is the biggest event for Asian people. It is a celebration of the lunar calendar. New Year’s day this year is on 19th February. The Lunar calendar refers to the cycle of the moon phases.

Chinese Candy Box by AnDy_Siu (Flickr)

Chinese Candy Box by AnDy_Siu (Flickr)

Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year, is just like Christmas in Western countries. In Western culture, Christmas is the period for family gatherings, home visiting and blessing each other. For Asian culture, the people carry out these activities during the New Year holiday.

Nian Gao by wEnDy (Flickr)

Nian Gao by wEnDy (Flickr)

Europeans will think, “Why do you go visiting your family on CNY? What do you do at Christmas instead?” I can only tell you about what people do in Hong Kong, as it may vary among different Asian countries.

Auspicious Messages by Kansir (Flickr)

Auspicious Messages by Kansir (Flickr)

When we were young kids, our parents would bring us to Victoria Harbour to see the light decorations around the seashore. After we had grown up and were teenagers, we used to hang out with friends at Christmas. When we became adults, we still hung out with friends, but some of them would spend their time with their partners. In general, this could be seen as abnormal in a western lifestyle, as Christmas is treated as a huge family day in the year.

Jau Gok by suziedepingu (Flickr)

Jau Gok by suziedepingu (Flickr)

For CNY, the most amusing thing for kids is getting red packets when they visit their relatives. This is the traditional item to bless them so that they have good luck in the New Year.

Red Packets by Leo Kan (Flickr)

Red Packets by Leo Kan (Flickr)

After reading this, next time you will realize how important CNY is among Asians. If you meet an Asian on CYN, you do not need to prepare red packets but give a blessing!

Chinese New Year in London by Paul (Flickr)

Chinese New Year in London by Paul (Flickr)

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