The start of February was the beginning of the Lunar New Year and celebrations around the world marked the start of the year of the tiger! Some of our Payloaders were celebrating and chatted to us about what Lunar New Year means to them and what their celebrations involve.
Karen, our Events and Games Hub Manager, explained a little bit about the Lunar New Year.
“Lunar New Year also known as Spring Festival, is the new beginning of the moon cycle.
Celebrations traditionally end after 15 days, starting on Chinese New Year’s Eve and continuing till the Lantern Festival.”
Karen’s fai chun – blessings on red paper hung on doors and walls
“People usually start cleaning their house on the 28th January, putting up fai chun (blessings written on red paper) and decorations on the 29th. This is followed by a family dinner on the 30th (new year’s eve) to celebrate togetherness. There are many rules to follow during these 15 days and each day represents a particular celebration”
Sai Wun, our Executive Producer, was also celebrating “For me, Lunar New Year is a time to meet up with family and friends to celebrate together.”
You can find out more about Lunar New Year traditions and the rules followed during the celebrations in articles such as this one by Time Out here.
Lunar New Year’s Eve dishes prepared by Karen and designed to bring luck and prosperity for the coming year
Food is an important part of Lunar New Year celebrations. Sai Wun and Karen told us a little bit about what they enjoy eating and cooking!
Sai Wun shared, “As I don’t cook much, I mainly do lots of eating and enjoy watching the children wanting to try everything as well.”
Sai Wun enjoyed this New Year Pudding and Rice Cake Soup
Two of Karen’s favourites are Turnip Cake and Gok Zai (sweet fried dumplings), “Lok Bak Go ( Turnip Cake) is a savoury cake made with daikon radish, Chinese sausage, shiitake mushroom, shrimps and rice flour. We steam them first, wait for it to cool down, and then cut them into pieces to fry and serve.”
The ingredients for Karen’s Lok Bak Go (Turnip Cake)
Lok Bak Go made by Karen
For Karen a favourite Lunar New Year activity is buying flowers, “Going to the flower market is a must for many people in Hong Kong. They are open around the city between 28th-30th and people believe walking around the market will bring you luck for the next year.”
Karen’s New Year Flowers
While Sai Wun added, “My favourite part is the variety of dishes that get prepared.”
Each Lunar New Year is assigned a zodiac animal and Karen explained “The Chinese zodiac is represented by 12 zodiac animals. Each year is symbolised by one animal so it repeats every 12 years”
We also asked Karen what her favourite zodiac animal “Who doesn’t like a good dragon?!”
Even Kumo (Karen’s dog, dressed as a tiger) joined the celebrations!
Thanks to both Karen and Sai Wun for chatting to us about Lunar New Year. We hope everyone who celebrated had a very happy new lunar year!
If you’d like to learn more about the Payload team you can visit our Careers page here.