The Chinese New Year

or the Spring Festival

culture

Ceremonies, dances, gastronomy

 

In 2017, Chinese New Year - the year of the fire rooster - will be celebrated in Reunion on Saturday 28th January.

Many festivities traditionally mark the Chinese New Year, including the Dragon Dance.The Chinese New Year is a dramatic festive event that is celebrated throughout the island: parades of dragons, lion dances, martial arts demonstrations, dance, music and acrobatic shows etc.

This celebration, which is called the Spring Festival, is one of the most important traditional Chinese celebrations.The Chinese New Year, which is celebrated on the first day of the lunar year, is the biggest ceremony held by Reunion Island's Chinese Community (approximately 7,000 families). The New Year is welcomed in with gusto; firecrackers are set off in front of houses and shops, supposedly to frighten off evil spirits.

The day before the event, people give their homes a thorough clean so brooms can be kept locked away on New Year's day (to avoid sweeping away good luck).

Friends and family members gather together for a ceremony where they bring offerings to their ancestors who are especially honoured on this occasion. A banquet of the finest dishes then follows; the dishes, which are supposed to bring luck, each correspond to a different area of life: vegetables for intelligence, chicken and peanuts for health, fried fish balls, shrimps and meat for prosperity, round foods for family unity and noodles for longevity. Sweet dumplings herald a sweet year and if you find a charm inside yours, it means that all your wishes will come true.
Good luck envelopes (red envelopes stuffed with money) are given to the children.