We asked our Director in Beijing, Vivienne Song about how she’ll celelebrating Chinese New Year!
With the Year of the Monkey around the corner, we wanted to find out how the people of Beijing would be gearing up for the festivities! We asked China Travel Outbound’s Vivienne Song, to tell us how she will be celebrating this year.
Hi Vivienne! How are you going to be celebrating Chinese New Year this year?
The 7 day long holiday allows us time to spend with our parents, as both my husband and I are not originally from Beijing and so our parents live in other cities.
How are your friends/ family celebrating?
Similarly to at Thanksgiving, most Chinese will return back to their hometown to celebrate the New Year with family. For married women, you would normally be expected to follow your husband to spend the holiday with his family.
Chinese New Year is really about family gathering, visiting relatives and having dinner together. Before, there were many traditions, like lighting fireworks and making traditional delicacies, but now due to the air pollution many places are prohibiting fireworks, and more and more families are choosing to go restaurants instead of making dinner at home.
The kids definately have the most fun; they get dressed up in new clothes, and collect Hong Bao (red packets containing money) from relatives. Normally, the relatives who are already married give Hong Bao to the kids.
What sort of gifts are you buying your family this year?
Every year I buy different gifts for my parents and parents-in-law, something like jewellery or a new ipad. This year I bought them an air cleaner for both car and home use, as we had terrible air pollution this winter.
What is your favourite part of New Year’s celebrations in China?
The best thing about this week is doing nothing but being a kid again!
What sort of things go on in Beijing?
There is a temple fair of folk custom, a very old tradition in Beijing, where they sell all kinds of New Year stuff and local delicacies. It’s quite like a Christmas market.
What (if anything) makes celebrating ‘the Year of the Monkey’ different than in other years?
Well, there’s really no difference. Only the Year of the Dragon tends to be more of a topic in China, since we always call ourselves ‘the descendants of the Dragon’.
Xin Nian Kuai Le sing nee-ann koo-why ler (Happy New Year) to all our Chinese friends!