Celebrating Chinese New Year in the UK

By Kunhui (Aaron) Luo, third year BSc Finance and Investment Banking student at the ICMA Centre, Henley Business School.

Chinese New Year (CNY) is on Tuesday 5th February this year. I am busily planning how to celebrate this day, which is the most important and exciting day in the Chinese calendar. As an international student studying abroad, I will quite miss my family. Although I look forward to celebrating the spring festival with my family, I also find it quite fun to celebrate the Spring Festival in the UK (PS: sometimes our lecturer may give us an examination to celebrate the Chinese New Year with us!). Now, I feel that Chinese New Year has become more popular in the UK. The posters about CNY can be seen around the campus and we also receive festival greetings from both the Uni and ICMA Centre (so kind and sweet).

When it comes to my last Chinese New Year, just 2 days before the spring festival our Reading Chinese Student Union hosted a Chinese New Year evening party to celebrate this important festival and hundreds of international students enjoyed the wonderful party together. This evening party is hosted every year, and is already considered to be a tradition. On New Year’s Day, I celebrated this festival with some of my friends. I still remember that after the lecture, we actually ran to the bus stop to get the early bus to the station, otherwise, we would not have arrived at the restaurant in time (you know how busy the London underground is on a Friday afternoon). We went to London’s Chinatown and had a great dinner at Hot Pot together, which made me feel at home. After that, we went to a Karaoke to enjoy the rest of the evening, which was amazing.

This year, I will continue the tradition of joining the Chinese New Year evening party to celebrate this festival together with so many people and I also hope to enjoy more wonderful talent shows. The CNY dinner is a must, but this year several of my friends plan to make the dinner at home together, which will evoke real atmosphere. Fortunately, I have a day off, so I will go on a short trip with some of my friends to celebrate this holiday (hope that the weather will be great that day, no rain or snow please!).

This year is the year of the Pig. Pigs have a beautiful personalities and are blessed with good fortune in life. Here is a funny story about the zodiac animals; the Pig is the twelfth of all zodiac animals and according to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order of the zodiac would be decided by the order in which they arrived at his party – but the Pig was late because he overslept!

Chinese New Year is coming, and I wish you all “Happy Spring Festival”!

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