I happily celebrated New Year on the 31st December at home, and the other one, the Russian Orthodox one, on the 13th January on a cold street. This one, the loudest one, the Chinese New Year of the Monkey, I will celebrate in the office with a few colleagues who didn’t manage to escape to China this year. I will exchange a red envelope, have a glass of rice wine with the famous “Gong Xi Fa Cai” with Peter from Beijing, Laura from Harbin and James from Suzhou. With David I will drink a glass of beer and exchange “Gong Hey Fat Choy”. Then we will look for monkey traits in each person in the office.
Are you witty, smart and have an irresistible personality? Is your lucky number 4 or 9 and favourite colour white, gold or blue? Then you are showing all the traits of someone born in the year of the Monkey.
The Monkey Year in 2016 starts on the 8th February but the Chinese New Year has already started, most probably on Friday when a huge number of people try to go back home and spend New Year with the family. All the trains, flights, buses are overbooked and if you are planning to travel to China during this period it would be best to stay put. It’s not that you won’t be able to move from A to B but also that most of the shops in place A and B will be shut. If you do decide to travel, bear in mind endless, ear-splitting fireworks all around the country.
The Chinese New Year is also known as The Spring or Lantern Festival. The festival traditionally begins on the 1st day of the 1st month in the Chinese lunar calendar and ends on the 15th; this day is called the Lantern Festival. The Spring Festival is so named as it celebrates the beginning of spring even if it’s in the middle of the winter.
Recently the celebration of Chinese New Year takes place in big cities all around the world: London, Toronto, Sydney, and Los Angeles….they are loud, colourful and magnetic.
Don’t miss it!
Gong Xi Fa Cai / Gong Hey Fat Choy