Blog: How I will be celebrating Lunar New Year

Author Rachel Feng is studying English and Communication Studies at the University of Liverpool on a XJTLU 2+2 programme.

Hello everyone, I am Rachel Feng, a English and Communication Studies student on a 2+2 programme from XJTLU. I am from China, and in this blog, I will share with you some stories about my previous Chinese Lunar Year in my hometown. I will also share some details about the Chinese New Year celebrations at the University of Liverpool and in Liverpool’s Chinatown. Let’s take a look…

The Chinese Lunar New Year is the most grand and traditional festival among Chinese people. It is also a large festival where people pray, entertain and gather with their families for blessings. In China, celebrations often begin with the ‘off year’. On this day, activities are mainly focused on dust sweeping and rituals. For example, families clean their environment, wash various utensils and unpack bedding and curtains. People will be happy and hygienic to usher in the New Year with cleanliness. According to traditional Chinese customs, ‘dusting’ means cleaning out all ‘poor luck’ and ‘bad luck’ for good fortune in the coming year. It is also a prayer and wish to ward off evil spirits and welcome the new year.

However, the ‘New Year’s Eve’ of the Chinese Lunar New Year refers to the eve of the new year. On this day, we usually put up couplets on the door of each household, and the words in the couplets usually imply expectations for the next year, such as promotion, peace and health. At the same time, people who work abroad will go home to have a reunion dinner with their families, signifying that the whole family will also be reunited in the new year. This year, it is my first time to spend Chinese New Year in another country. I plan to spend ‘New Year’s Eve’ making dumplings with my flatmates and watching the Chinese New Year evening party.

In addition to the University of Liverpool celebrations taking place on 1 February, Liverpool’s Chinatown is also planning a Lion Dance Parade on Nelson Street on 6 February at 11:30am, along with numerous music, dance and martial arts performances. Liverpool’s Chinatown is located in the city centre and features the iconic Chinese archway and stone lion statues. Liverpool’s Chinatown is also home to a number of red lanterns which give it a very Chinese New Year atmosphere. In addition, there is a paper-folding workshop in Great George Square for families, where there are activities such as origami, Chinese zodiac badge making and calligraphy. There is also a Chinese bazaar on Great George street selling various souvenirs and food. This event is expected to end at 5pm.

Happy Chinese New Year to all as the Year of the Tiger approaches! I sincerely hope everything goes well for you, and may all your dreams come true! Wishing you and your family good health.