What we appreciate about having international Clients and a multi-cultural office, is that we get to celebrate many occasions all year round. January has flown by incredibly quickly and we are now ready for Chinese New Year! Similar to many traditions in different cultures and religions, Chinese New Year is predominantly about family. Having a family dinner is an important part of everyday life, as it shows a sign of unity. So when eating as a large group, a round table (opposed to square or rectangular) is favoured; for sitting comfortably, sharing the food that has been prepared and ease of conversation. Although working life can prove to be difficult for joining together as a whole family, most people will ensure that they sit together for the New Year’s Eve ‘reunion dinner’ with their family. Heart-warming examples heard countless times, is people in China who have to move away from their home village and work in a faraway city; to provide for their family back home. So they may have to spend the majority of the year apart. But when it comes to Chinese New Year, they will make the journey home; even if it is for that one evening, to join together and celebrate as a family. This is truly admirable.
There are many symbolic preparatory tasks to undertake, such as spring cleaning, to cleanse the home of the previous year and make way for the New Year ahead. Buying a new pair of shoes and outfit represents new beginnings. And taking a walk around a flower market, like those ever so popular in Hong Kong, represents good luck. Although dealing with the crowds of people, who would equally like to uphold this, can be very overwhelming! One thing that we can easily do is to purchase a lucky plant, similar to those purchased at a Chinese flower market. In the UK we can easily obtain an orchid (symbolising nobility) or a lucky bamboo plant (for happiness). However the one that most Chinese families would like to buy is the symbol of good fortune and prosperity; which comes in the form of a kumquat plant. In addition to its symbolic attributes, having a kumquat plant in the home will add a pop of vibrant colour and wonderful citrus fragrance; which will brighten up the current chilly climate!
The Sequoia London team wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous year of the Rooster!
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