Updated: Feb 12, 2021
Hackney Chinese Community Services wishes everyone a healthy and prosperous Happy Lunar New Year of the Ox!
This year, Lunar New Year 2021 falls on Friday, February 12th, 2021. For East and Southeast Asians who celebrate the Lunar New Year, those with roots in China, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, it is the most significant festival of the year, marked by 15 days of celebrations which culminate in the Lantern Festival on February 26th, 2021.
This year is the Year of the Ox. In Asian culture, the Ox is a hardworking zodiac sign which usually signifies movement. Hopefully, this means that the world will be less static than last year, and get moving again!
The Lunar zodiac, is a repeating 12-year cycle of animal signs and their ascribed attributes, based on the lunar calendar. Zodiac animals include the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig. The origins of the zodiac are based in animal worship, with the system dating back to the Qin dynasty, in China, more than 2,000 years ago. According to legend, the Jade Emperor summoned all the animals to his palace in a “Great Race” (or possibly for a banquet), and the order in which they arrived determined the animal’s place in the zodiac. Traditionally, during Lunar New Year celebrations, families reunite to have a special meal at home. A New Year Banquet consists of many different foods that have symbolic meaning. A whole fish means denotes an increase in Prosperity as in Chinese, "fish" (鱼 Yú /yoo/) sounds like 'surplus'. Dumplings and spring rolls signify wealth, whilst glutinous rice cakes denote a higher income or position. Different foods are eaten as they are symbols of luck and prosperity, and eating them is thought to invite both into your life in the year to come. For many Hongkongers, and other recent arrivals from East and Southeast Asia, this will be their first Lunar New Year in the UK . Unfortunately, due to the pandemic and change in political direction, many newcomers are unlikely to be able to see their loved ones during this time. For those who have recently arrived with their family to the UK, this will also be their first Lunar New Year in this country. Hackney Chinese Community Services and the British East & Southeast community would like to welcome all new arrivals to the country. We look forward to walking alongside you to make your journey to settlement easier. We would like to wish you a Happy New Year! Kung Hei Fat Choi! Xīnnián kuàilè! 新年快乐! 新年快樂! 새해 복 많이 받으세요! Chúc mừng năm mới สวัสดีปีใหม่ Maligayang bagong Taon