This is a guest post by Iris who lives at IconInc, The Edge. Iris is one of our ambassadors and recently celebrated Chinese New Year at IconInc. Today she tells us about how the festive celebrations are different in Leeds compared to back at home in Macau...
My name is Iris and I am one of the IconInc Ambassadors at the Edge! I come from a small city called Macau which is near Hong Kong. Today, I wanted to tell you about how people celebrate Chinese New Year here at IconInc and in Macau!
Chinese New Year, aka Lunar New Year, is one of the highlight festivals in the Chinese culture. The way Chinese people celebrate Lunar New Year is actually similar to how Western people celebrate Christmas!
There are Lunar New Year Markets where people can play games and buy festival flowers. Peony, narcissus, azalea, and cymbidium are used to decorate their homes and create that extra bit of festive feeling. Other than festive flowers, we also like to hang red couplets with hearty wishes written on (commonly one or four words) around our flats.
Families will also gather on New Year’s Eve and have a big dinner together. Everybody loves desserts, don’t they? During CNY it is a common practice for Chinese people to eat tangyuan (glutinous rice balls), meaning the family will unite and stay together harmoniously. Tangyuans have different fillings too! I personally favour black sesame the most. There are also other flavours such as peanut and red bean. Married couples will also give out red packets to the youngsters in a way meaning that the couples wish the youngsters good luck and happiness in the coming year.
Here at IconInc, the staff had also made lovely decorations with red couplets and lanterns around the common area. My friends and I had taken part in food preparation for the evening where we tried our best to cook as authentic as we can. The Grande room has fantastic kitchen facilities so we had a lot of fun making the food.
Among me and my friends, we also celebrated Chinese New Year cooking a big meal for our friends the day before. We invited 11 friends to come along to have a meal prepared by four of us. As there were 15 of us altogether, we had to do a lot of cooking. We ended up cooking too much and it took us 3 days to finish all the food we made. It was an awesome evening we spent together though and we also took advantage of the “new year luck” so we played a bit of mahjong and poker. That means we will all hopefully have a prosperous year!
We might not be able to celebrate Chinese New Year the way we do at home, but it’s the perfect festival for a party. To enjoy the fresh start the New Year brings, my friends and I visited a club in Leeds to have fun in the sake of New Year!
Did you have fun celebrating Chinese New Year? What did you do? If you want to celebrate at IconInc next year, take a look at our luxurious apartments in Leeds and Liverpool.