Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is China's most important festival and celebrates the beginning of a new year on the lunar calendar, representing the desire for new life (Spring is coming!).
The festival has a history of over 3,000 years and is celebrated by a quarter of the world's population. It’s a time for families to be together and is a week-long official public holiday in China. The festival causes the world’s largest annual migration (it is estimated that there are 3.5 billion journeys in China during the period).
In 2021, Chinese New Year falls on Friday (12th February 2021), beginning the year of the Ox. The Ox in Chinese is pronounced as ‘niú 牛’, similar to the English pronunciation of ‘New’, so “Happy Ox year” is celebrated as ‘Happy New (niú 牛) Year’ in Chinese. ‘Niú 牛’ also means ‘amazing, bravo, great’ when used as an adjective.
Traditionally, the main Chinese New Year activities celebrated at this time of year include 1) putting up lucky red decorations, 2) eating a reunion dinner with family on New Year's Eve, 3) firecrackers and fireworks, and 4) giving red envelopes filled with money as well as other gifts.
Every year we celebrate Chinese New Year with our patients, families, and staff in International and Private Care (I&PC). This year, although we could not celebrate together in person, we still managed to celebrate the festival in the hospital and online.
Beautiful red Chinese lanterns, red ox dolls and New Year paintings featuring an ox have been hung at I&PC reception, Caterpillar outpatient, Bumblebee Ward and Butterfly Ward areas. Moreover, our creative Play team organised fun activities with our patients such as crafting an ox toy, Chinese cultural play and role play.
We also haven’t forgotten delicious Chinese food for New Year! The hospital’s Catering team plan to offer a special menu on the 16th February and will also include a few Chinese dishes for evening meals between the 11th to 26th Feb.
We have also worked with Chinese partner to pass on our wishes and gifts to Chinese families based in China.
Wishing everyone 牛年大吉 Niú nián dà jí (Happy New Year of the Ox)!