Chinese New Year celebrations hit Leicester

By Mary De-Windgeograph-5295008-by-Mat-Fascione

© Copyright Mat Fascione

Crowds of people gathered in Leicester’s Jubilee Square on Sunday to watch the Chinese New Year procession that was full of performances as well as traditional dragon and lion dances.

The Chinese New Year is a big festival that celebrates the start of new year according to the Chinese calendar.

This festival is referred to as the Spring Festival and marked the start of the Year of the Rat.

Student Vicky Sam, 20, shared her experience as a Chinese student celebrating the new year in Leicester.

“Normally at home I’d be with my family,” said Vicky.

“New Year’s Eve the whole family would come home and have a dinner together. The kids would receive red envelopes called red pockets with “lucky money” inside from parents/aunties & uncles. 

“Sometimes we would go out to dinner at a Chinese restaurant on New Year’s Day. There would be a traditional lion dance and firecrackers.”

Leicester is one of the most vibrant and diverse cities in Britain and De Montfort University hosts students from 135 countries including from the EU.

But Vicky said: “Personally I haven’t heard the university do anything for the Chinese New Year.

“I think to make it better they should do an event where a lion dance is showcased, and maybe red pockets are handed out (maybe not with money!) also with traditional food.”

Nevertheless Vicky will be carrying on traditions such as “handing out red pockets, since it’s like a staple during Chinese new year, not cleaning the house on new year’s day (since you’ll clean out the good luck) but yeah, I think that’s it since a lot of Chinese traditions are very outdated.”

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