Topic: Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year has been celebrated in Hamilton for several years
Chinese New Year The festival has grown to be a major cultural experience in Hamilton's event calendar and we invite you to help bring in the new year of the ox (or bull). Personality traits of the oxen are good-natured patience with a self-assurance of a leader
Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays, and is celebrated worldwide, including in many of the major cities in New Zealand. It brings Eastern culture at its most celebratory to the West, and is an exciting event for the whole family.
The Chinese New Year is celebrated by festivities which traditionally begin on the first day of the first lunar month in the Chinese calendar, and last for 15 days. Parades and performances take place both throughout the streets of China and in countries around the world throughout these days, and are celebrated by Chinese and non-Chinese alike.
Each year in the Chinese calendar is symbolised by an animal from Chinese astrology, each bringing different traits of luck and fortune. The next five years will be symbolised by the Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon and Snake.
The celebrations begin on Chinese New Year's Eve with a family dinner, always consisting of a fish meal. The first few days of Chinese New Year are often dedicated to visiting family. On the first day, families visit the oldest and most senior members of their extended family. The second day marks the day where married daughters visit their parents, as traditionally married females in China may not have the chance to see their birth parents frequently. The third day is accepted as the day to honour those who have passed by visiting graveyards, or the homes of their families.
The following days of Chinese New Year are less specific, and often have food-specific traditions dependent on area to enjoy. The fifteenth day of Chinese New Year is celebrated with lanterns and candles lit outside houses to guide wayward spirits home, and marks the end of the festivities for the year.