WEARING RED, YEAR OF THE DRAGON, LUNAR NEW YEAR
Happy Chinese New Year 2024 - Year of the Dragon
Saturday 10th February 2024 celebrates the Lunar New Year. The Chinese New Year rings in the year of the dragon: a symbol of luck, power and prosperity. An auspicious symbol, the dragon can be seen in amongst patterns and ornaments across Chinese countries.
British-born Chinese (Hong Kongnese), I was brought up in the UK with traditional Chinese values. The conflict between my Western schooling, and Chinese home life was something that brought on all sorts of confusion! Only recently did I begin to unpack this confusion and conflict to now being able to appreciate my heritage. As I start to learn more about my heritage and the culture, I realise there is so much more to discover!
Talking about Chinese New Year is tricky as I can't really tell you about the traditions and the history behind it. Growing up, I actively chose to ignore my culture and never paid attention to the superstitions and traditions or their meanings. However, one thing that couldn't be ignored was the colour red, it was everywhere! Especially during celebrations and festivals, in clothing and decoration. So why do we choose the colour red?
In Chinese culture, the colour red is considered lucky, representing happiness and success; believed to be a 'power' colour to ward off evil. So we wear red to attract luck. So much so that brides wear red on their wedding days to bring in luck for their new lives with their respective others.
A commonality with the western world, is that red is connected with love; the colour of passion and fire.
Maybe we should all be wearing red more often throughout the year! Some days it feels like such a bold colour, that when I do feel confident enough to wear it, I then feel empowered wearing it!
So never forget how important our clothing choices are to us!
Will you be choosing to wear red to celebrate Chinese New Year with us on Saturday? Or are you planning to wear the colour red to celebrate your loved ones on Valentine's Day?
One of the main misconceptions is the idea that Lunar New Year is a Chinese festival celebrated only by Chinese people. Lunar New Year festivals are celebrated in East and South East Asia mainly come under the following five types:
- Spring Festival (Chūn Jié, sometimes called Chinese New Year) - China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Brunei, Macau
- Tết - Vietnam (short for Tết Nguyên Đán)
- Seollal - South Korea, North Korea
- Losar - Tibet
- Tsagaan Sar - Mongolia
These are not to be confused with the Solar New Year festivals, celebrated in South East Asian countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos.
Happy Lunar New Year, and a Happy Chinese New Year of the Dragon!