Tag Archives: 2020

CHINESE NEW YEAR 2020 – YEAR OF THE METAL RAT

WHAT: CHINESE NEW YEAR 2020 – YEAR OF THE METAL RAT
WHEN: 25TH JANUARY – 8TH FEBRUARY 2020
WHERE: ACROSS CHINA AND ASIA

The Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is fast approaching and the preparations are already underway. In many ways, this holiday is one of the few chances for Chinese families to gather together all generations for a catch-up. Much like the celebrations for our Christmas and New Year events, the Chinese have specially prepared meals, give specific gifts and eat to excess so you can readily see where the comparisons come from.

CNY - year of the rat

This Public Holiday has been taking place since as far back as 2300 BC and this year, the representative of the Chinese New Year is the Metal Rat. This little fella is said to be able to turn misfortune around with their cunning and wise approach. People born under this sign are said to be charming if a little ruthless, hardworking and thrifty so they have the ability to save a lot of money quickly. Children born this year are alert and lead to money by instinct and have the ability to deal with conflict with sophistication but can, on the other hand, be picky and stubborn but this is definitely a good year to be born according to the Chinese.

Also known as the Lunar New Year, unlike the Western World, China adheres to the ancient Lunar Calendar which is firstly, the reason the date changes every year and secondly, continues to uphold the values of the ancestors.

There are certain ‘must have’s’ for CNY celebrations, including:

  • RED HANGING LANTERNS
  • RED MONEY ENVELOPES
  • CITRUS TREES – A SIGN OF WEALTH AND ABUNDANCE
  • RED BANNERS WITH ‘FU’ CHARACTERS UPSIDE DOWN TO ENCOURAGE GOOD LUCK ARE KEPT WITHIN THE HOUSEHOLD

As all family members are required to return home to China for the New Year celebrations, those who genuinely cannot make it back (and it had better be good!) will have their place at the table left empty, set with cutlery, to show that they are missing the event and to ensure that the luck for the family still spreads to those who can’t attend.

Wishing my friends a Happy Chinese New Year 2020

All dishes created for the event are to give and receive blessings for the coming year. Names and symbols are said to encourage health, happiness, and prosperity and although the food included can vary dramatically from region to region, the national staples are always spring rolls and dumplings. They do vary from each area as some tend towards spicier foods and the coastal areas, stick to fish and seafood types which applies to both dumpling and spring roll fillings.

Some of the foods have specific significance as relates to the Spring Festival:

DUMPLINGS – WEALTH

SPRING ROLLS – WEALTH AND A FRESH START

WONTONS – WEALTH AND TREASURE

FISH – FORTUNE AND A SURPLUS OF FOOD AND HEALTH

NOODLES – LONGEVITY AND LONG LIFE

GLUTINOUS RICE CAKE – PROMOTION AND A RISE IN SALARY

GLUTINOUS RICE BALLS – FAMILY REUNION

It’s not all about the food though as some activies form part of the tradition:

CLEAN HOUSE – Sweeping the house and throwing out something old means to clear out bad luck and welcome in the New Year and good tidings.

SHOPPING – This has to be one of the biggest spending periods across China and begins from around 10-days before the start of festivities. The main purchases are new clothes, red decorations for the home and outside either side of the door, meat, snacks for the children and other bits and bobs like sunflower seeds, sweets, and candies, and nuts.

FIRECRACKERS – Setting off firecrackers is an essential part of the celebrations and is used to welcome in the New Year and scare away evil spirits. However, due to the environmental impact, firecrackers have been banned in major cities.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg as globally, 1.35 BILLION Chinese will celebrate Spring Festival so there had to be some westernisation going on. Big companies like Lego, Nike, and others have all joined in the fun with Lego creating a new ‘Year of the Rat’ collection.

LEGO Offers Year of the Rat Chinese New Year Themed Set GWP

Furthermore, Nike has a new Air Jordan called ‘Chinese New Year’ which does feel like a bit of a ‘back at ya’ to Adidas which released it’s Ultraboost Japan’ range featuring fireworks earlier this year.

So, it just remains for us to wish all our friends over in China a very Happy New Year – Gong Hei Fat Choi.

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LONDON WELCOMES IN 2020 WITH A BANG

Three barges, the iconic Big Ben and the incredible London Eye were all packed with pyrotechnics as midnight struck on 31st December, welcoming in the new decade in traditional style.

On what was probably one of the clearest night skies since September (we all recall how dreadful the weather was over the Bonfire Night season and beyond) it was set to be an outstanding night of pyrotechnics across the UK. However, despite the clear night, there had been a little shower earlier and it was very windy which added to the smoke issues.

They used the same ‘London is Open’ as for the Olympic 2012 event to welcome in the forthcoming EURO 2020 which the UK will be hosting. They even had some single shots spelling out the same. The finale was absolutely gorgeous.

Whilst it was lovely, you should check out the event at the Champs Elysee:

The use of lasers, coloured lighting and pyrotechnics were gorgeous and given the bad press about pollution, particularly following the Aussie PM’s decision to go ahead with the display in spite of a huge number of calls to cancel it. They decided that it should proceed thanks to the amount of investment and planning which had already taken place.

Well done to all the professional teams around the world who helped to ring in the New Decade.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA NEW YEAR’S EVE 2020

WHAT: FIREWORKS FOR NEW YEAR’S EVE 2020 – SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
WHY: FIREWORKS EVENT TO WELCOME IN THE NEW YEAR 2020
WHEN: TUESDAY 31ST DECEMBER 2019 FROM 7PM
WHERE: SIDNEY HARBOUR AND SURROUNDING AREA
COST: FREE – SEE WEBSITE FOR MORE DETAILS

More than 1 million spectators packed the foreshore of Sydney Harbour for this epic event of all ages. The spectacular firework display, choreographed to music, costs in the region of $6 million Australian dollars and is the responsibility of the Foti Fireworks.

2011 New Year Fireworks, Sydney, Australia

The Foti family is one of the original Italian Firework families who have been in the business of manufacturing and displaying fireworks since 1793 and professionalism and safety are at the core of everything they do. Eight generations of Foti have passed on their vast knowledge, love and passion for pyrotechnics and one of their mantra’s is ‘no pyro, no party’ which we have to say, we totally agree with.

Happy New Year... Welcome 2017

Last year, in an unprecedented error, the organisers of the light show inadvertently displayed the words ‘Happy New Year 2018 ‘ in error, but to be fair, this was not under the control of Foti Fireworks.

Here is what you can come to expect from this year’s event:

7pm – Fire Tug Water Display – spraying gallons of water into the sky which creates a magical sight before the setting sun.

7.30pm – Country and Smoking Ceremony – carried out by the indigenous Gadigal Elders – an aboriginal clan of people who welcome the world to the celebrations and offer purification ceremonies for the forthcoming year.

8pm – Aerial Flying display by Matt Hall, a 3rd generation pilot who formerly worked for the Royal Australian Air Force as a fighter pilot and latterly an instructor.  He also won the Red Bull Air Race World Championships in July and will thrill spectators with his death-defying abilities.

8.30pm – Pylon Projections and Lighting Effects – there will be a full light show projected onto all the buildings on the shore and harbour front.

9.00pm – Family Fireworks – this is the first of the firework events and a pre-cursor to the main event at midnight. The fireworks will be launched from barges on the Bay and from the Sidney Harbour Street.

9.08pm – Calling Country – a ceremony with live performances from the indigenous people’s representatives and concert at the iconic Sydney Opera House.

9.15pm – Harbour of Light Parade – all the shops and watercraft in the Bay area are decorated with colour and light in this enchanting choregraphed event.

12.00 – Firework Display from the Sydney Harbour, bridge and surrounding structures which will be televised around the World.

Last year’s countdown on the bridge was brilliantly done and the display met with rapturous applause.

A very happy New Year to all out Antipodean friends.

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