Your Stories & Events

Chinese New Year 2019 - Year of the Pig

Chinese New Year 2019 - Year of the Pig

 
Time 722 days ago Comments 0 comments
 

In February 2019, millions of people will be celebrating one of the biggest festivities of the year - Chinese New Year. Discover more about this Chinese tradition below and see how it is celebrated across the world.

Join Sodexo’s Origins network and see this year’s full cultural events calendar.


When is Chinese New Year?

In 2019, the Chinese New Year falls on 5 February 2019. The event is determined by the lunar calendar when there is the start of a new moon. In Chinese tradition, each year is named after one of twelve animals, which feature in the Chinese zodiac - this year is the Year of the Pig.


Characteristics of those born in the year of the Pig:

If you were born in 1923, 1935, 1946, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007 or 2019 you were born in the Year of the Pig. According to Chinese Astrology, those born under this Chinese zodiac sign are nice and good-mannered and love to help others. They're also considered to be intelligent and are always seeking to learn more. Does this describe you?!


How is Chinese New Year celebrated?

Chinese New Year is a time when families get together to celebrate. It is also a special time to remember members of the family who have passed away.

Before the start of the festivities, Chinese people spring clean their houses to sweep away any bad luck and clear the way for good luck. People buy presents, decorations, food, new clothes and have their hair cut.

Lights are put up outside homes; doors and windows are often newly painted in red. On New Year’s Eve decorations made from red and gold paper are hung down the doors with good luck phrases such as 'Happiness' and 'Wealth'. The colour red is considered a lucky colour and is supposed to frighten off the monster Nian who is thought to come on New Year’s Eve. The colour gold represents wealth and prosperity. Every light is supposed to be kept on until midnight and fireworks are set off to frighten away evil spirits.

On New Year's Eve, families have a large, traditional meal. There are different types of food depending on which region of China people come from. In the north, people eat djiaozi - a steamed dumpling and in the south nian gao - a sticky, sweet rice pudding. It is believed that the spirits of the family’s ancestors are also at the meal and food is prepared for them.

Sam Chuah, a finance assistant based in Salford, one of Sodexo’s employees that celebrated last year, said “We have a get together on the first weekend at my parents’ house for a family meal,” says Sam. “The new year celebrations last for 15 days and in China people start celebrating from New Year’s Eve with a big feast, and then spend time visiting friends and relatives over the following days.”

On New Year's Day children will wake up to find a red envelope filled with money and sweets under their pillows left by their parents and grandparents. The red envelopes, containing money are given to children for good luck. 

Chinese New Year ends with the lantern festival on the fifteenth day of the month. The lanterns are often hand painted with scenes from history or legend. Everywhere is decorated with lanterns of different sizes and in the streets, there is music and dancing.

A dragon dance often takes places with a dragon made of paper, silk and bamboo held aloft by young men dancing and guiding it around to collect money.

In the UK, the festivities are usually shortened so that the lantern festival takes place on Chinese New Year’s Day.


Did you know?

  • Watermelon seeds are often eaten as it represents the bearing of many children
  • Cleaning such as sweeping is not done on New Year in fear of sweeping away their good fortune
  • The Chinese believe that the second day of the New Year celebration is also the birthday of all dogs, everywhere
  • The fifth day is reserved for staying home to welcome the god of wealth, and spending time with family or friends is said to bring bad luck!

Chinese New Year celebrations are happening in major cities up and down the UK and Ireland, including LondonManchester and Glasgow.

You can also read "21 Things You Didn't Know About Chinese New Year" for more festive information and fun facts.

 

Share this story About sharing

  
Send to Kindle

News

Start Safe, Stay Safe graphic
 

Don’t slip up when it comes to safety

Slips and trips are the most common causes of injuries in UK and Ireland workplaces - Start Safe, Stay Safe and don't slip up this January!

 
Sodexo employee cartoon - discounts pouring from chef hat
 

Your new Reward Hub is here

Every day, you help Sodexo improve the quality of life for clients and customers. That’s a big deal. The new Reward Hub brings together our rewards package with wellbeing, community and recognition programmes to better support your quality of life – and help you succeed.

 
Start Safe, Stay Safe graphic
 

Be alert to out of scope work

It’s our job to stay focussed on keeping our clients happy and providing great service, but what do you do if you’ve been asked to complete a task that’s not part of Sodexo’s contract? We call this ‘out of scope’ work, and with it comes a higher risk of accidents. Get the support you need and stay safe.

 
Start Safe, Stay Safe image
 

Don't skate on thin ice

Over the festive period, did you check your mulled wine wasn’t too hot to drink? Or take a trolley to pick up the big Christmas food shop, instead of straining to carry a heavy basket? These are simple risk assessments we all make in everyday life to keep ourselves and others safe. Yet we sometimes forget to apply the same at work and keep up-to-date with crucial HSEQ changes.

 
Festive 5 Elf
 

Mental ‘elf’ comes first

In December 2020, we encouraged everyone to put their mental ‘elf’ front and centre by taking part in Festive 5 – our regional festive Stop Hunger fundraiser. With your support, the activity collectively raised more than £2,700 that will go towards helping those most vulnerable within our local communities.

 
Start Safe, Stay Safe 2021 week 1
 

Start the New Year as we mean to go on

Back to work but feeling a bit out of sorts? It can take a while to get back into a work routine after a break, but be sure not to let safety take a back seat and help us to avoid the January 'bruise'.

 
A thank you from Stop Hunger
 

A big thank you from Stop Hunger

Over the past year, the kindness of you and your Sodexo colleagues was seen once again in the many donations, fundraising activities and volunteering hours contributed to Stop Hunger's charity partners, enabling them to support those most in need through the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. To bring your impact to life, watch a special thank you video from the Foundation's charity partners.

 
Talk logo
 

Getting to know your new EAP

On 1 December, Sodexo launched its new wellbeing offer to colleagues, Talk. Central to this host of tools and services is a new employee assistance programme (EAP), provided by Vita Health Group.

 
Making a difference to young people YMCA
 

Making a difference to young people

New volunteering opportunities are now available on the Stop Hunger Goodness Platform, including a virtual Christmas messaging service supporting YMCA. With more than 9,000 residents supported by YMCA over the festive period, the anonymous messaging service lets vulnerable young people know that there are people that truly care.