China and Chinese people all around the globe, including here on the Rock, are celebrating the New Year – the year of the Pig.
The Gibraltar Chinese Association will mark the event today with a dancing lion, fireworks and displays by the local Tai Chi Club. Everyone is welcome to attend the event.
Red Chinese lanterns have been hanging in some streets for a couple weeks in Gibraltar, with red being the main colour for the festival as it is believed to be an auspicious colour.
Celebrations will start today in John Mackintosh Square at 4.15pm, with a Lion dance display and fireworks. At 5.30pm in Casemates there will be a Lion dance, Tai Chi demonstration and a Kung Fu show.
From Casemates, at 7pm, the celebrations continue in Ocean Village with a Lion dance and a display by the Tai Chi club.
William Tan from the Gibraltar Chinese Association explains that the Year of the Pig 2019, is “a great year to make money, and a good year to invest.”
The Year of the Pig 2019 brings fortune and luck. You are a “Pig Chinese Zodiac native” if you are born in one of these years: 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019.
Chinese families celebrate the day by spending it together.
“Wherever they are, people are expected to be home to celebrate the festival with their families,” said Mr Tan.
“The New Year’s Eve dinner is called ‘reunion dinner’, and is believed to be the most important meal of the year.”
The auspicious symbolism of these traditional Chinese New Year foods is based on their pronunciations or appearance, Mr Tan explains.
“Not only do the dishes themselves matter, but also the preparation, and ways of serving and eating mean a lot. The most common Chinese New Year foods includes dumplings, fish, spring rolls, and nian gao [cake].”
With Chinese people being a minority with about one hundred including ethnic Chinese on the Rock Mr Tan is “very happy and proud to see that the Chinese New Year are welcomed by the public in Gibraltar”.
The welcoming their annual celebration receives encourages the association to continue organise such events to share with the Gibraltar people.
The Chinese New Year marks the start of Spring Festival and the local Chinese Association aim to continue celebrating this important time.
“We hope to host the Chinese New Year celebration for the rest of the Spring Festival and hope the Gibraltar people will support us,” said Mr Tan.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thanks those who sponsor us for the event, especially Property Zone Gibraltar, Isolas, GBIC, Grand Shanghai restaurant, Ocean Village and the support of Ministry of Culture.”
“Without the sponsorship, this wouldn’t be make possible.”
“Last but not least, we would like to thank the Chronicle provide us with this opportunities to share this cultural event to the Gibraltar people.”
Pic by Johnny Bugeja