Lunar New Year 2024
Lunar New Year is one of the most important celebrations of the year among East and Southeast Asian cultures. It is celebrated widely in, most famously, China but also Vietnam, Korea and many others. Over time, it has been increasingly celebrated across the world, including many families who live in Bracknell Forest.
The New Year celebrations usually last for multiple days, not just one day as in the Gregorian calendar’s New Year. In 2024, Lunar New Year begins on 10 February.
Sunny Lau, who is a member of Bracknell Hong Kong Community group, said:
"Chinese New Year is not just a celebration, it's a cherished cultural bridge that connects my Hong Kong roots with my new life in the UK. It symbolizes family reunions, festive traditions, and the spirit of renewal. “While miles away from home, the joyous atmosphere, vibrant red lanterns, and the aroma of traditional dishes transport me back to the warmth of Hong Kong. “It's a time to share the richness of my heritage with my new community, fostering understanding and unity. Chinese New Year in the UK becomes a beautiful blend of old and new, a tapestry of memories and aspirations, echoing the resilience and diversity of my journey."
Tied to the lunar calendar, the holiday began as a time for feasting and to honour household and heavenly deities, as well as ancestors.
Each culture celebrates the Lunar New Year differently, and has various foods and traditions that symbolise prosperity, abundance and togetherness.
Some households hold rituals to offer food and paper icons to ancestors. Others post red paper and banners inscribed with calligraphy messages of good health and fortune in front of, and inside, homes. Elders give out envelopes containing money to children. Foods made from glutinous rice are commonly eaten, as these foods represent togetherness. Other foods symbolise prosperity, abundance and good luck.
In preparation for the Lunar New Year, houses are thoroughly cleaned to rid them of inauspicious spirits, which might have collected during the old year. Cleaning is also meant to open space for good will and good luck.
We’d like to wish a Happy New Year to all our residents observing Lunar New Year.