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Lifestyle

Year of the Pig: Celebrate in style!

By FreshSocial 02 Feb 2019

As you may (or may not) know, Chinese New Year is upon us!


2019 is officially the Lunar  'Year of Pig' - but what does that mean and most importantly, how can you get involved in celebrations?

Well, here are just a few ways that you can celebrate in a traditional way:

1. Make a big deal of New Year's Eve

In China, NYE can be the most important day of the year. Typically, a HUGE family dinner will take place so if you want to really get into the spirit, host a dinner party for your friends! Make sure that you're serving fish; this is expected to bring wealth into the New Year with you and we could all do with a bit of that, right?

2. Be generous with red envelopes

In China, people receive red envelopes containing cash as a New Year's gift and you could do something similar. How about a red envelope Secret Santa? This way all your friends/flatmates buy a cheap gift, pop it in a red envelope/gift bag and everyone gets a gift. If this is too much effort, you can always give each other a mandarin orange instead...

3. Get creative with your decor

It's no secret that once Chinese New Year comes around, it's red decorations galore and you should definitely be getting involved with that too. Whether this means displaying red lanterns, fairy lights, paper chains or fans; it's time to get creative. To do this on a budget, try shops like Wilkos, Poundland and Home Bargains. Just remember not to make any permanent damage to the walls.

4. Find a Lion or Dragon Dance nearby

Lion and Dragon Dances are traditions that goes back years in China and involve performers in a Lion Costume or performers holding up a Dragon on poles to make him dance, the longer the Dragon the luckier it is. Their purpose is to bring good fortune and prosperity for the coming year. You can't miss the tell tale beating drums and clashing symbols. so you'll know when they are around. If you really want to get involved with Chinese New Year celebrations, heading out to watch a dance is one of the best ways to do it.

5. Eat lots (and lots) of dumplings

During Chinese New Year, dumplings can be eaten for every meal of the day. So, for those of you who have never tried a dumpling, now is the perfect time to give them a go. You could try making them yourself, or check out the frozen section of your local supermarket, or even better,  check with your Accommodation Team when if there is a dumpling tasting session happening; they're happening at lots of our sites! 

6. Celebrate for the full 16 days(!)

That's right, Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally last over two weeks including New Year's Eve. Well, it is called Spring Festival in China so it's only right that it runs across this period of time. What we're saying is, don't feel like you have to cut festivities short after a couple of days, you've got weeks to enjoy all of this good stuff! 

What does Year of the Pig actually mean?

As well as taking part in all of the fun stuff that comes with Chinese New Year, it's worth being aware of what it actually means.

The zodiac animal changes year on year and luckily, the year of the pig symbolises wealth and profit! According to the Chinese, a pig's chubby faces and big ears are a symbol of fortune. However, if you know anyone born in a previous Year of the Pig, it might be quite an unlucky year for them...

Enjoy and remember to take plenty of Instagrammable pics and stories tagging your site!

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