20 March 2023
On 22 January 2023, the Chinese Year of the Rabbit begins. According to Chinese astrology, people born in this year are gentle, sincere and responsible, as well as lively and fast.
The Chinese New Year is marked by the colour red, which brings good luck. People wear red clothes and decorations are also often red or red and yellow. Children are given a red envelope with money inside as a gift.
On New Year’s Eve, people usually cook at home and eat with their families. Chinese in Belgium do not always have family here and often celebrate New Year among friends. Importantly, the number of dishes that are put on the table should be even in number. According to tradition, people must stay inside the house on New Year’s Day. More to the point: nothing is allowed to leave the house on this one, not even a rubbish bag, for instance.
In the centre of Brussels, Chinese New Year is celebrated with a Dragon Dance. This dance brings prosperity and, like fireworks, drives away evil spirits. Another dance typical of New Year is the Lion Dance. Dancers in lion costumes roam the shopping streets. Green vegetables are often hung at the front doors of shops, which the lions then have to grab and eat. This also brings prosperity in the new year.
The New Year festival lasts for 15 days; the key moments are New Year’s Eve and the 15th day, which marks the beginning of the Spring Festival. On this day, balls of rice dough with different kinds of filling are eaten. The round shape symbolises that the family will live the whole year in good health.
For the Chinese community, 2023 is a special year because, for the first time in a long time, many of the measures against coronavirus have been dropped. As such, many are looking forward to this day with extra anticipation.
Although you would expect the opposite, the year of the animal you were born under is not so favourable for you. Those born in the Year of the Rabbit should be careful throughout the year and preferably always wear red, even if only red pants. For your information, other years of the Rabbit were 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987 and 2011. So, better beware…