Chinese New Year Celebrations from Home
Chinese New Year isn’t something we typically celebrate over here in the UK. But with the Coronavirus making travel a little trickier than usual, there may be a few of us looking to get a taste of China in other ways. So, why not immerse yourself in the culture from the comfort of your own home?
With the big day itself coming on the 12th of February, marking the arrival of the year of the ox, we thought we’d look at what the Chinese New Year is all about. Not to mention, offer a few ways that’ll let you get a little taste of the celebration and experience the way of life, without leaving the house.
What The Chinese New Year is All About
Chinese New Year is exactly what it sounds like, the celebration of a New Year. The difference is that it begins with the new moon that occurs between the dates of the 21st of January and the 20th of February. And to celebrate, there’s a 15-day festival to get the New Year off in style.
Preparations for the celebrations take place in something called the ‘Little Year’. It’s filled with prayer ceremonies, food preparation, house cleaning and sweeping bad luck away. All leading up to Chinese New Year’s Eve, where the most important feast of the year takes place. Once dinners done, the kids get red envelopes and everyone stays up late, waiting for the New Year.
The Spring festival is ‘the beginning’ of the New Year. With firecrackers, neighbours greeting each other, wine and food, so it’s got a lot in common with our New Year celebrations. To top it off, you’re not allowed to clean or sweep on this day, and if you do decide to crack out the brush, it’s believed you’re in for some bad luck.
This festival is followed by days celebrating family, the various animals of the zodiac and nature. These celebrations are followed by the lantern festival. The most important activity during the festival. Riddles are written on lanterns and the people moon gaze through the lights. For a little more information on the celebrations, check out the Chinese New Year website.
Get Inspired with the Home Décor
The Chinese New Year celebrations are a sight to behold, and that’s in no small part thanks to the incredible decorations. Vibrant red, the symbol of luck is prominently displayed next to the symbol of wealth and riches, gold. It’s visually striking, and you can take a little inspiration for your home décor.
You can go all out on the colour scheme, or just change up the cushions and curtains. And while you can just buy a few read-made homes accessories, there’s always the option of going handmade. With crafting being a pig part of the décor through Chinese New Year, it’s a great way to get a more authentic vibe.
Deck out your home with “window flowers”, red paper that’s been cut into a symbol or words. Try your hand at calligraphy and hang up a few words associated with good fortune. You could even have a go at creating a Spring festival couplet. These are writings carved into wood or written on a banner.
While you can try your hand at ‘New Year painting’ or place a few kumquats or ‘golden tangerines’ around, you need to try your hand at lanterns! You can buy them, or make them out of paper, and then write your own riddle on there. It is advised that you don’t light them though, paper and fire is not a good mix. But they could make a decent lampshade.
Get crafty with your decorations with Hobbycraft, they’ve got all your arts and crafts covered.
Set your sights on a colour scheme and head over to Wayfair to update your home.
Take Your Tastebuds on a Trip
Food plays a big part in the Chinese New Year, with the feast on New Year’s Eve being the most important meal of the year. So, why not use it as an excuse to cook up a storm and fill your plates with some cracking Chinese favourites. Whether you want something sweet or savoury, there’s something for everyone.
Whether you want some sumptuous spring rolls, a delightful dish of dumplings, or you just want a nice helping of noodles, you can let your tastebuds travel. With Chinese foods being fried, steamed or baked, you don’t necessarily need any special kitchen kit. But you can’t go wrong with a steamer basket. It can really open a few culinary doors for you come dinner time.
Different foods have different meanings in China. With dumplings being a symbol of wealth, fish being a symbol of surplus and fortune, rice balls symbolising family reunion and noodles meaning longevity, you can eat the dish you think will bring you good fortunes in 2021.
You can even satisfy your sweet tooth. With desserts like Nian Gao, a delightful rice cake, or Fa Gao, a cupcake-like pastry. There’s even turnip cake, if you fancy trying something a little different this year. Checking out the different Chinese dishes on offer is a great way to expand your skills in the kitchen and treat your tastebuds. Alternatively, there’s always the option of grabbing a Chinese takeaway.
Try out some cracking Chinese cuisine at home with a delightful dish from Deliveroo.
To take your kitchen skills to the next level, Hello Fresh have a ton of recipes and ingredients.
You can always rely on Morrison’s when it comes to getting some fabulous ingredients in your weekly shop.
The celebrations might have a few of us keen to check out the sights that China has to offer. With 2020 being a tricky year for travel, we might be eyeing up a big trip when things are simpler. Whether you want to book ahead and jet off, or you just want to go on a virtual tour, you’ve got plenty of options.
China is absolutely packed with incredible landmarks. From the world-famous Great Wall of China, to The Forbidden City, the Terracotta Army and the stunning Yellow Mountains. Whether you want to see some gorgeous geography, or you’re setting your sights on some incredible cultural landmarks, there’s so much to see.
From Beijing to Shanghai, there’s some wonderful architecture and a ton of sites with massive historical significance. Not to mention, if ancient cities don’t grab your attention, there’s the Giant Panda’s that you can see in Chengdu. With more than 80 of the cuddly looking creatures, it’s one of the few places to catch a glimpse.
With a ton of virtual tours available, you can see the sights from the comfort of your own home. But there’s nothing wrong with planning ahead and making yourself an itinerary for when travel is a more viable option. For a little help with travel plans, check out the highlights of China, so you can get organised.
Get ahead with your travel plans with Expedia.
Celebrate Chinese New Year, Your Way
So, whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in some culture, or you’re after some dinner ideas, get inspired by the Chinese New Year. It’s something a little different that we don’t see much of here in the UK. So, it’s a great chance to explore. While Coronavirus is making travel more complicated, it doesn’t mean you can’t give yourself a taste of what the country has to offer.