Our Chinese Society welcomed in the year of the dog in traditional Chinese style with delicious culinary treats, hand-painted calligraphy and festive flute music.
The boys ate Chinese New Year cakes; sweet cakes in the shape of fish, and radish savoury cakes. The fish cakes included both the head and tail of the fish as Chinese people believe that it’s important that the whole fish is eaten, as the word ‘fish’ in Chinese mean ‘surplus’ and therefore they must eat a ‘surplus’ at the end of the year. The theory being that if they manage to have something leftover at the year end, then more can be made in the new year.
The word ‘cake’ in Chinese sounds like ‘doing better in a new year’ or ‘implying promotions or prosperity year after year.’ For this reason, cake is a popular gift during the festive period.
The boys handed red envelopes out to each other. The colour red symbolises good luck and wards of evil spirits. Red envelopes are usually given out by married couples to unmarried couples.
The boys also enjoyed Chinese calligraphy, which is a fun and festive activity usually undertaken at this time and is an important part of the New Year decorations. A brush is used to write ‘happiness’ or ‘spring comes’ on red paper and then these are stuck on doors and walls.