As a People First company, Vanguard strive to celebrate the diversity and broad spectrum of cultures that make our company something to be truly proud of. With the Year Of The Dragon finally here, we’re taking the opportunity to learn more about the Lunar New Year, and understand why the festival is so celebrated around the world.
Lunar New Year traditionally marks the end of the winter season and the dawn of spring. Different cultural regions have various customs and traditions associated with the festival, but the most common celebrations include a family reunion dinner, the exchange of red envelopes containing money, and the picturesque Lantern Festival which is symbolic of letting go of the past and seeking out good fortune.
Despite being referred to as Chinese New Year, the festival is officially recognised across a whole host of east-Asian countries, including Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, and others. The celebrations don’t stop there, however – major cities in the UK, such as London, have seen parades and events to mark the occasion. Red and gold dragons have bounced through our streets, while talented performers have dazzled crowds with their traditional dancing.
To find out more about the Lunar New Year, we enlisted the help of our esteemed People Advisor Chloe Tsang. We spoke to her about her experience with the festival, and asked the questions that are on all our minds.
Lunar New Year is a festival which we celebrate under the Chinese calendar. It resembles the moons at different times of the year, and is celebrated across 15 days, beginning from Chinese New Year’s Eve until the Lantern Festival on the fifteenth day. There are various festivities and traditional activities we take part in.
It is a time to be with family, sharing meals together and enjoying the festivities. A key part of it is spent worshiping our ancestors and honouring the dead of our families, but of course there are plenty of celebrations like giving out red envelopes and lighting lanterns.
We have lots of unique traditions over this period. Before Lunar New Year, we deep clean our homes to remove any bad fortune and make way for the luck that the new year brings. On the day, we’re not allowed to take out rubbish or wash our hair as this will be seen as washing away the good luck.
We see the new year as a new beginning, so it’s ideal to get a haircut at the start of this period. There is also no swearing or arguing for the next 15 days, although sometimes this gets broken!
We hang up red decorations across the house, and of course there are plenty of celebrations on the street. One of the most famous is the Chinese dragon dance, which is done for good luck. You must make sure to touch the dragon as it passes to receive the good luck!
We normally celebrate the Lunar New Year at my parent’s or grandparent’s house. It’s just like Christmas for me – I love the food we have and my mum makes it fresh every year. We have banquets including chicken, duck, king prawn, steamed fish, dumplings, chicken feet, hotpots, noodles, rice balls, melon, moon cakes, and much more!
To all those celebrating Lunar New Year, and to those who are new to the tradition, Vanguard wishes you an exciting year filled with happiness, prosperity, and good fortune.
新年快乐 (Xīn nián kuài lè!)