DENISE AYLOT, the activities co-ordinator at Parker Meadows care home in Fareham, explains why she is celebrating Chinese New Year
CHINESE New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays, marking the end of the winter and the coming of spring.
This year I organised a real Eastern extravaganza to participate in this wonderful festival.
China plays such a big part in our lives now so we wanted to celebrate that.
It’s been a tough winter with many affected by the floods and the snow, particularly the elderly, so this is a great opportunity to look forwards with optimism.
Things may be difficult but together as a community we can support each other and help people feel connected rather than isolated.
Over the weekend we were joined by the Mayor and the Mayoress of Fareham, Cllr Dennis Steadman and his wife Carole and pupils from nearby Cams Hill School.
There was a Wutan martial arts demo, a Chinese lion dance, Chinese folk dancing with traditional music, calligraphy demonstrations and plenty of delicious food.
Some of the children from Cams Hill presented the residents with red and gold traditional Chinese envelopes, which they have made themselves, which contained a message of goodwill for the year ahead.
Red is a traditional colour of luck within Chinese culture and giving red gifts or hanging red decorations is thought to encourage good fortune for the New Year.
This coming New Year is the year of the Snake.
Snakes are said to symbolise ambition and wisdom so I’m optimistic that this year will be full of great activity and accomplishments for our community.
I would like to wish everyone a very happy and prosperous Chinese New Year.