Discover our joyful, fortune-bringing outfit and gift ideas to celebrate the east and south-east Asian holiday on 10 February
Celebrated by over two billion people across the globe, the Lunar New Year festival is observed across multiple days in China, North and South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, and Vietnam, as well in south-east Asian communities in the West. London usually hosts the largest Lunar New Year celebrations outside of Asia, with traditional dragon dances, street food and activities in the West End and Trafalgar Square.
For those who celebrate, Lunar New Year is an opportunity to usher in good fortune with family – and it starts with clothing. In Chinese culture, buying and wearing new clothes symbolises a fresh start. It’s one of the oldest traditions associated with the Spring Festival, dating to 420 AD. Traditional clothing, as well as modern garments (including pyjamas) in red and gold are often given as gifts by the family to be worn on the first day of the new year.
When it comes to gift giving for Lunar New Year, the name of the game is good fortune. Did you know that across many east and south-east Asian cultures, married couples and parents give red envelopes containing money to wish children good health and luck? And there are plenty of spring festival gift ideas, too. A fruit hamper, especially with tangerines or oranges, is a traditional gift idea for Chinese celebrants: the word for these fruits resembles the words for luck and success in Mandarin and sounds like gold in Cantonese. Alternatively, luxury tins of tea or brand-new tableware to welcome fortune to their house are bound to please. Bouquets featuring orchids, roses and pink or red lilies are a vibrant way to send Lunar New Year greetings to family and friends from afar.
Words: Rebecca Hastings