Portsmouth family shares their Chinese New Year traditions as small celebrations and virtual greetings set to take place

FESTIVITIES will take a different form for Chinese New Year celebrations as we enter the Year of the Ox.

Yang Lu with her husband Gabor Varga and her daughter Eliza Varga (2) host a video call with Yang's parents who live in China as they prepare to celebrate Chinese New Year at their home in Portsmouth

© Jordan Pettitt/Solent News & Photo Agency
Yang Lu with her husband Gabor Varga and her daughter Eliza Varga (2) host a video call with Yang's parents who live in China as they prepare to celebrate Chinese New Year at their home in Portsmouth © Jordan Pettitt/Solent News & Photo Agency

Families and communities will be holding celebrations at home on Friday, rather than attending events like the annual celebration at Gunwharf Quays.

Portsmouth resident Yang Lu, along with her husband Gabor Varga and two-year-old daughter Eliza Varga, have hosted video calls to celebrate virtually with Yang's parents who live in China.

Due to current lockdown restrictions in England, Yang and her family are unable to visit friends and family in the neighbourhood and pass on their good wishes, as they have traditionally done in previous years.

Yang Lu with her daughter Eliza Varga (2) and the traditional lion steamed buns she has made for Chinese New Year. © Jordan Pettitt/Solent News & Photo Agency

Yang said: ‘The biggest difference is we can’t go to China or celebrate with friends. We can still do a video call to say Happy New Year!

‘This year is the Year of the Ox in Chinese zodiac. Ox is pronounced niu which sounds like new. So we can say Happy “Niu” Year to my Chinese friends.’

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Yang and her family have spent Thursday cleaning the house to sweep out bad luck, and have made traditional Chinese steamed buns.

Being from the north of China, it is traditional to eat dumplings at dinner on New Year’s Eve.

Yang said: ‘Some dumplings have candies or coins in them. The person who eats them will have extra good luck in the coming year.’

The CCTV Spring Festival Gala is the most-watched programme for Chinese people to bring in the new year, Yang said.

New Year’s Day usually sees families visiting their friends to pass on good wishes, however this will have to be virtual this year.

Children such as two-year-old Eliza will receive a red envelope containing lucky money as a gift called ya sui qian.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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