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New Year, New Reasons to Celebrate!

08 Jan 16 By: Lene McGuinness

The New Year is now well underway, but there are still plenty of occasions to celebrate at the start of 2016. This year Chinese New Year falls on 8th February, but most celebrations in London will be taking place on Sunday 14th February. Every year, Chinese New Year falls between 21st January and 20th February, depending on the Chinese lunar calendar. Although not being an official public holiday in the UK, it is still widely celebrated across the country – particularly in London. In 2013, more than 500,000 people came together in London’s Chinatown, Trafalgar Square and the streets of central London for Chinese New Year.

2016 is the year of the monkey, and many businesses and charities are beginning to embrace the tradition and celebrate the Chinese New Year will their colleagues and friends. Over the last five years especially, the catering industry has seen a large surge in UK-based Chinese New Year celebrations. If you are hosting an event for Chinese New Year, be sure to incorporate some of the most famous traditions.

Lucky colours

Red, yellow and green are viewed as the luckiest colours in China, therefore they are always prominent in Chinese New Year celebrations. Red is the national colour and represents happiness, beauty, success and good fortune, so if you are hosting a Chinese New Year event ensure that a lot of your décor is based on this palette.  Yellow traditionally symbolises royalty and green symbolises money, and the three colours are often used for table linen, lanterns, clothing and other decorations.

Traditional Chinese food

The menu options at Chinese New Year are often lavish and overflowing with numerous traditional choices. Fish is often the most popular option, so ensure you have sufficient fish kettles and knives and forks to enjoy your traditional cuisine. Tangyuan, sweet rice balls and Nian Gao, glutinous rice cake are also served during Chinese New Year celebrations. If you are interested in incorporating these dishes into the catering at your event, you could serve Tagyuan or dumplings in our traditional Chinese bowls, or Nian Gao on our stunning red square glass plates.

Embrace the culture

If you want to go all out for your Chinese New Year event, there are a few traditions you simply cannot miss of the agenda. Dragon dances are performed at New Year, where performers hold poles to raise and lower the dragon with the aim of not only entertaining, but also to scare away evil spirits. Additionally, red envelopes are traditionally given to family and friends containing money as a gift at New Year. As an alternative, you could welcome your guests with a red envelope containing a Chinese fortune, or even their table number!

If you are planning or hosting an event for Chinese New Year 2016 and are looking for catering equipment available for hire, Allens Hire has everything you will need from furniture and glassware to kitchen equipment and cutlery. For further information or to discuss the options and possibilities for your event, please email us on enquiries@allenshire.co.uk or call our London office on 020 8574 9600. Alternatively, if you are based on the South Coast you can call 02380 652316.