Thought For The Day – Monday 23rd January 2023
Lunar New Year
Lunar New Year celebrations began yesterday. This is also known as the Spring Festival, Chinese New Year or the New Year after the country it is celebrated in.
The date of the Lunar New Year, 22nd January this year, marks the first new moon in the Lunisolar calendar, which is based on the cycles of the Moon and the Earth. The celebrations will last 15 days until a special lantern festival brings the celebrations to a close.
At this time, red envelopes with money are given for good luck. Red lanterns are displayed and there are fireworks. Homes are cleaned to eliminate bad luck. Families get together. People wish one another happiness, health and prosperity.
There can be dragon parades. The dragon represents good luck, strength and health. Performing the dragon dance during festivals and celebrations drives away evil spirits and ushers in good luck and blessings for the community.
Food is important and symbolic. Noodles symbolise longevity, dumplings symbolise wealth and fish symbolises abundance. Thanks to Mr Cooper and the Catering Team, lunch today will feature Cantonese chicken, beef in a Chinese curry sauce, vegetarian spring rolls and, for desert, chocolate Chinese five spice cake.
The Lunar New Year Festival has been celebrated for many centuries. One legend states it began with the defeat of a beast called Nian which was driven away with red colours, bright lights and loud sounds.
Each year is named after one of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac in a twelve year cycle. 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit for most cultures. In Vietnam, the Year of the Cat will be celebrated.