The Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival as it’s actually known in China, is a lunar event, beginning with the new moon of late January or February, and traditionally lasts fifteen days, although most people take no more than a week’s holiday.
It is the most celebrated festival in the world. There are countless myths and customs, but essentially, the festival is about honouring the deities and ancestors.
Customs vary greatly, but usually include thorough clean of the house, decorating with red and getting together with the family for a reunion dinner on the night proceeding Lunar New Year’s Day. Money is also given in red envelopes.
Dumplings (or gyoza) feature prominently. These dumplings have long been symbolically associated with wealth and prosperity, and are traditionally made on the eve of the Spring Festival, then served at midnight to welcome in the new year with a symbol of prosperity and success.