As an international city, the capital of Wales, Cardiff has a multicultural environment as well as a tolerant and diverse cultural atmosphere.
Chinese New Year, namely Spring Festival, which gets more and more popular in western countries in recent years, fascinates not only Chinese people currently in Cardiff but also those who would like to have a taste of Asian magic.
Chinese New Year eve and the first day of New Year are of the highest festival spirit. If you are a festival enthusiast, you would not like to miss any fabulous moments in these days.
A perfect Chinese New Year starts with fascinating and festive decorations. An antithetical couplet or a Chinese character “Fu” can easily light up the festive atmosphere.
Many Chinese people here in Cardiff chose to design their decorations on their own. For those who are fond of Chinese calligraphy, it’s a perfect time to “show off” their handwriting.
Zhenzhen Diao, an undergraduate student at Cardiff Metropolitan University, said: “Hand-making couplet reminds me of those sweet moments I spent with my family in Spring Festival when I was back in China, where celebration events are much grander. But we can still enjoy ourselves in Cardiff by decorating our house and doing cleanings, you know, it’s a ritual thing.”
Wherever you spend your New Year Eve, at home or outside, reunion dinner is the most important and symbolic part of the whole celebration.
In China, reunion dinner is a special occasion for families to gather together and enjoy long-lost warmth and peace of family life. But here in Cardiff, many Chinese people, especially international students would take it as a great opportunity for hanging out and having fun.
For Chinese restaurants in Cardiff, these days might mark the busiest ones during the whole year. Every corner of a Chinese restaurant was full of cheerful laughter and the high-spirited crowd.
If you are lucky enough, you may have a chance to see a lion dance after reunion dinner in a restaurant. Some Chinese restaurants would invite professional lion dance team to give a show for their customers.
The lion dance is a form of traditional dance in Chinese culture, which is usually performed during the Chinese New Year celebration.
This year Cardiff’s Red Dragon Centre presented a fantastic lion dance to celebrate the Year of the Rooster.
In addition to lion dance, this year Red Dragon Centre, which is in a special partnership with the Cardiff Confucius Institute, welcomed Chinese New Year with free arts and crafts for Chinese and locals, families and individuals.
There were workshops for paper cutting, Chinese calligraphy as well as lantern making, which attracted loads of adults and children surrounding there.
“It’s a great opportunity to know different traditions and cultures for children and even for adults”, said Sissie Wong, a professor of Imperial College who was born in Cardiff but with her parents Chinese, “I’m really grateful there are such celebrations that remind you of something traditional you might forget for long.”