While here in the west we celebrate New Year on 31 December, there are many other international celebrations throughout the year.
Today we start celebrating Lunar New Year — also known as Chinese New Year. It is one of the biggest dates in the Asian cultural calendar and celebration for millions of people in countries across the Far East such as Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Malaysia, and many more.
Whenever the year falls on any of the signs of anyone in our household there always seems to be added excitement. We have a little dragon, pig and snake too. This year it does not fall on any of our signs and we find ourselves celebrating the Year of the Rabbit – in keeping with the 12 year cycle covering the 12 different animals.
What does the 'Year of the Rabbit' mean?
The Rabbit symbolises longevity, peace and prosperity and so 2023 is seen to be a year of hope.
In China it is fourth in the Chinese Zodiac behind the Rat, Ox and Tiger.
Are you a Rabbit?
You are well liked.
Those born in the Year of the Rabbit are seen to be gentle and approachable. They are easy going, polite, decent, modest, optimistic, witty and pleasant to be around. Rabbits are not easily irritated and will try to avoid quarrels as much as possible and so are skilled in handling relationships with people.
However Rabbits tend to be easily satisfied and very vain.
What will you be doing to celebrate?
A lot of celebrations involve food. It is an opportunity for families to come together and enjoy an important family dinner full of delicious food.
It is a celebration full of many traditions and symbolisms.
You may see many orange trees tied with red bows. Oranges symbolise luck and happiness in Chinese culture.
You may see friends and family having Lo Hei salad, a symbol of prosperity and abundance. Lo Hei means ‘tossing up good fortune’. You may come across them tossing the salad together. It’s thought that the higher the salad is tossed, the more prosperous the year ahead will be and so the better your prospects and fortune in the year ahead will be. It’s colourful, messy, loud and always heaps of fun.
I hope that you all have a big family feast full of lots of delicious food. I wish that many families will have the chance to come together and bring in the Year of the Rabbit.
Lastly, I wish you all happiness and prosperity – “Gong hei fat choy”.