“Gong Hey Fat Choy”

Posted on 26th January, 2017

“Gong Hey Fat Choy” or “Gong Xi Fa Cai” 

Preparations are underway to celebrate Chinese New Year at BSCA. We have the delights of a special lunchtime tomorrow - chopsticks too if you wish to try using them, Roosters watching over you as you spend time in the dining room thanks to Mr Reynard and his Art Club and chinese lanterns thanks to Mrs McDonald and the Out of School Club. There will be plenty of other activities around the Academy to help everyone join in and celebrate.

Chinese New Year 2017.jpgRoosterArtClub.jpg

Chinese communities around the world are preparing to launch their New Year celebrations, the most important holiday in the Chinese calendar. Starting on 28 January, the colourful celebrations will welcome in the year of the rooster and finish on ending on 2 February. Chinese New Year is the longest national holiday in China and New Year's Day is the most important date in the Chinese calendar. 

Chinese New Year is based on the ancient Chinese lunar calendar, falling on the second new moon after winter solstice - meaning it changes each year.

It is pronounced in Mandarin and “Gong Hey Fat Choy” in Cantonese, although both are written the same way.

About a sixth of the world will observe Chinese New Year, with celebrations in China, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia, as well as countries with large Chinese populations. Both London and San Francisco claim to hold the largest celebrations outside of Asia, with parades, dragon dances, family reunions and dinners. Red clothing always worn, as it is said to scare off the mythical monster Nian. The Manchester Dragon parade starts at 12noon and moves to Chinatown at 1pm. There will be lots to see and do from 12 until 8pm including a Chinese market, craft displays and a funfair.

Children are traditionally given red envelopes, lai see packets, with money inside which they sleep with under their pillows, they are meant to bring them good fortune and happiness.

Cleaning the house on the twentieth day of the second lunar month before the New Year, and subsequent house decorating, are both major rituals in the run up to New Year.

Each day has its own celebration: while on Day 2 it is traditional to visit friends and relatives, on Day 3 people tend to stay at home as it is not seen as ‘auspicious’ to socialise.

What does the year of the rooster mean?

2017 is the year of the tenth Chinese zodiac, the rooster – this year being the fire rooster

The years of the rooster include 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993 and 2005.

Those born in 1957 or 2017 are fire roosters, and are considered trustworthy, with a strong sense of timekeeping and responsibility at work. They are also thought to be talkative, popular in a crowd and loyal.

Their lucky numbers are thought to be five, seven and eight, and their lucky colours gold, brown and yellow. 

Fire roosters are recommended to avoid the colour red and their unlucky numbers: one, three and nine.