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Learn more about this colourful and significant event from BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance student, Zhenhua from China.

 

When is Chinese New Year and why is it celebrated?

Chinese New Year, which is also known as the Spring Festival or chun jie starts on Friday 16 February 2018 and continues for two weeks. The date changes each year, as it is based on the lunar calendar. The Chinese calendar years are grouped into a 12-year cycle and each year is associated with a zodiac animal: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. 2018 is the year of dog.

There is one key legend about Chinese New Year. Long ago there lived an ancient monster called Nian. It lived alone for many years under the sea, but every Chinese New Year’s Eve it would come ashore and devour livestock and people until an old man came to a village.

He told people in the village that Nian was afraid of three things: the colour red, fire and noise. So the villagers filled the place with red, made loud noises with drums, music and fireworks.

They also gave their children face masks and lanterns to protect them. When Chinese New Year’s Eve came, Nian saw the village full of the three things which terrified him and he ran away, never to return.

So this legend has created a Chinese New Year tradition where people hang red decorations in their houses, streets are filled with music, loud drums and fireworks. People also make special paper lanterns to scare off any demons and the Lantern Festival traditionally marks the end of the Chinese New Year.

Are there any special dishes or lucky foods?

We celebrate Chinese New Year’s Eve with a big meal. I think soft-boiled chicken is a popular main dish, I also enjoy this meal. Other lucky foods include noodles, dumplings and fish. Union is the key word for this tradition, so I think no matter where we are on that day, I get together with my friends and family to celebrate and cook lots of wonderful food.

What‘s happening at Bournemouth University to celebrate this event?

The BU Chinese Students & Scholars Association is celebrating Chinese New Year on 16 February 2018 in Bournemouth, which will bring together students of all nationalities and is a great way of meeting other students at the university.