Thursday 19 February 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year!

Today marks Chinese New Year, the longest and most important holiday in the Chinese calendar. The festival, known as Seollal in South Korea and Tet in Vietnam, is traditionally a time to be with family, and is celebrated by roughly a sixth of the world! The evening before Chinese New year’s Day is an opportunity for Chinese families to spend time together for an annual reunion dinner. For our students at LSI, being apart from their family at this time of year can be a bit difficult! We asked a few of our Chinese students how they will celebrate the New Year, when they are living nearly 5000 miles away from home.

Hui told us she will be cooking up a Chinese feast for her English host family, serving up traditional dishes such as dumplings, soup and duck leg. She wanted to show her English host family exactly how she would celebrate Chinese New Year if she was back home in Wuhan, China. Another student, Fisher from Beijing, said her family would light fireworks and firecrackers to welcome New Year in with a bang! Although neither student can be with their families, continuing their traditions whilst in Portsmouth is a fantastic way to share their culture and customs with their English host families.

According to Chinese astrology, each year is associated with a particular animal sign and 2015 is the year of the goat.  However, you may also see it referred to as the “Year of the Sheep”. The confusion stems from the Chinese character “yang”, which translates in colloquial Chinese as either goat or sheep! Those born in the year of the goat are supposedly peace-loving and kind, and their lucky flowers are carnations and primroses.

We’d like to wish everyone a Happy Chinese New Year, wherever and however you are celebrating it. From everyone at LSI, we hope your year is filled with good fortune, happiness and health, and hopefully lots of studying!

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