Kung Hei Fat Choi

The Year of the Snake is coming up, chaps, on Sunday, 10 February to be exact. And to be even more exact, this time around it’s the year of the Water Snake.

Chinese New Year is one of the most important – and colourful – traditional Chinese holidays, which is based on a lunar calendar.

The evening preceding Chinese New Year’s Day is an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festival in the Chinese calendar. The origin of the event is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Chinese New Year is celebrated in China and in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations.

Over the years, Weekender has been to quite a few celebrations and without exception the atmosphere is playful, exciting and happy.

Celebrate good times

Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the Chinese new year vary widely. People will pour out their money to buy presents, decoration, material, food and clothing.

It is also traditional for every family to thoroughly cleanse the house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for good incoming luck. Food will include such items as pigs, ducks, chicken and sweet delicacies. The family will end the night with firecrackers.

Early the next morning, children will greet their parents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year, and receive money in red paper envelopes. Then there’s the famous lion and dragon dances, which are exuberant and a highlight of the celebrations.

Closer to home, the Cayman Islands Chinese Association will be celebrating the occasion with a Chinese banquet this Saturday, 9 February at Canton Restaurant in The Strand. Yum!

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