Chinese New Year has been celebrated for centuries in China and all around Asia. It is also known as the Spring Festival and the Lunar New Year, and marks the start of the new Lunar Year.

An array of colourful celebrations usually start on the last day of the last month in the Chinese lunar calendar, and end on the 15th day of the first month with the spectacular Lantern Festival.

Chinese New Year is based on numerous legends, myths, and traditional ways of life; and the many symbols and decorations within New Year Celebrations derive from these origins.

Any Chinese friend or family will know about the story of the wicked mythical beast Nian, who was defeated by an old man armed with firecrackers, and red paper talismans. We are sure they will happily tell you all about it.

The Chinese New Year festival is also the perfect time to remember your relatives, and your wider family lineage.

On Chinese New Year’s Eve, families and friends come together to enjoy each other’s company, eat a sumptuous dinner, play games, and children will often receive red packets filled with money for good luck.

Another tradition leading up to Chinese New Year is to clean your house, which is of the utmost importance to wash away any bad luck from the current year, and to make your living space open to good luck in the coming year.

Additional preparations include decorations at certain openings such as doors or windows.

These paper decorations are usually coloured red and gold, lucky colours in Chinese culture, and feature calligraphic symbols denoting wishes for good fortune, happiness, wealth and longevity.

Chinese New Year is celebrated across the whole world, bringing people of all ages and different cultures together celebrating with their local communities. Join us in Southampton this Chinese New Year and see in their ancient festival with your local community.

For the latest updates on this event, follow the official #CNYSouthampton hashtag on social media, follow our facebook page and visit Southampton City Council’s Events page.

We look forward to see you there and celebrate the start of year full of love and generosity.