Chinese New Year was celebrated last weekend on Sunday 22 January. Last week, we had an assembly about this important date.
Bella (7E1), Penelope (7P3), Ethan (12D1) and Mei (12D4) told us how this is the first day of the first lunar month of the year and 2023 will be the Year of the Rabbit. Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival, is celebrated across China and in other Chinese communities around the world. It is the most important holiday of the year. Many people who work in the cities make long journeys to return to their families in the countryside at this time.
In preparation for Chinese New Year, everyone cleans their house and hangs red decorations – good luck messages and lanterns. The colour red is considered to be especially lucky. Families eat a large meal together with fish, noodles and dumplings, and children are given red envelopes containing money by their older relatives. The festival lasts for 15 days and ends with the lantern festival. People also set off firecrackers and bang drums to make plenty of noise. It is believed that the noise drives out bad spirits. People also watch traditional lion dances at this time of year.
According to legend, it came about due to a monster called ‘Nian’, who attacked people every year. Thus the villagers found out the monster was scared by loud noises and the colour red. They used it to their advantage, by wearing red, and setting off firecrackers. This scared the monster away and they still continue this tradition today.
Chinese New Year is about starting a fresh and hoping for good things in the future for you and for your family and friends. Think about anything that brings you good luck, happiness and hope for the future. Sometimes things do not always go well… and we can feel unhappy. But Chinese New Year reminds us that there is always an opportunity for a fresh start with lots of good things to come. Let us share happiness and hope to all around us.