What to eat, wear and say as Preston celebrates Chinese New Year

Lion dancers will be returning to Preston's Flag Market to bring good luck to the city in 2019
Lion dancers will be returning to Preston's Flag Market to bring good luck to the city in 2019
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The festival of Chinese New Year starts today, here are six things you need to know about the event.

1. Chinese New Year - also known as the Spring Festival - is a two-week celebration which begins today and ends on February 19.

The date moves from year to year, as it is calculated from the lunar calendar

2. This new year ushers in the Year of the Pig. People born under this sign are considered attractive and likely to become wealthy

3. Red is considered a lucky colour for Chinese New Year, so many Chinese people will hang up red lanterns, strings of red chilli peppers and paste red paper on to doors and windows.

Children also receive money in lucky red envelopes.

4. Here in Preston, the celebrations will kick off on Saturday on the Flag Market with a performance of the Lion Dance, starting at 11am, to bring good luck to the city.

Preston MayorTrevor Hart, said: “We are very fortunate to have such a multicultural society in Preston and it is wonderful to have this opportunity to share in these colourful festivities. Chinese New Year celebrations are always very popular and the activities on offer this year ensure the event is bigger and better than ever.”

5. The Harris Museum is also hosting a variety of family friendly events on Saturday, including calligraphy workshops, tea tasting sessions and brush painting.

Feixia Yu, director of Confucius Institute, added: “We are very pleased to continue this long-established Chinese New Year project with the Harris. “It’s lovely to see how this event has gone from strength to strength and this year we are excited to add even more new activities to the programme. We wish everyone a very happy and prosperous Year of the Pig. Good health and prosperity to all the participants and to the people of Preston!”

6. Traditional new year foods includes dumpling (traditionally eaten at every meal over the holiday period) and a variety of cakes including rice cakes and muffins dyed in festive colours.