Happy Chinese New Year

At Audley Villages, we love an excuse to get dressed up for a themed night packed with delicious cuisine and lots of smiles. That's exactly what we're preparing for this Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year 2024 is a Year of the Dragon, more specifically, Wood Dragon, starting from February 10th, 2024, and lasting until January 28th, 2025.

Many Audley restaurants, including The Orangery at St Elphin's Park and Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood will be celebrating Chinese New Year in the coming weeks.

Although Chinese New Year officially 'starts' on 10th February, it actually lasts 16 days, with the Lantern Festival marking the end of the celebrations. Here are a few somewhat surprising traditions and superstitions you may not already know about Chinese New Year.

Firstly, it is known by many names, including #ChineseNewYear, #YearOfTheDragon, #LunarNewYear and #SpringFestival2024.

Little Year comes first

Preparations for the Chinese New Year celebrations begin on 28th January (That's the Solar date. The Lunar date is 23rd December) and last until New Years Eve (4th February). It's tradition to clean your house during this time, to sweep away bad luck. Sugar melons, baked wheat cakes and tofu soup are the food of choice during Little Year.

Chinese New Year's Eve

This evening sees families enjoy the reunion dinner on 9th February. After dinner, children traditionally receive red envelopes and everyone waits up to see in the new year together.

Chinese New Year's Day

On February 10th 2024 families celebrate the start of Spring Festival.

Spring Festival

Spring Festival runs from 10th February until 25th February. The first day of New Year was originally called Yuan Dan meaning "the beginning". It is a day of blessings and greetings between neighbours. The ancient Chinese analysed the stars, moon and weather to predict the fortunes of the year. Cleaning or sweeping are forbidden on this day, else good fortune may be swept away. Several other events follow the traditional new year on 10th, all incorporating traditions, food dishes (dumplings and baked bread among them), superstitions and beliefs. 

Finally, the Lantern Festival

Preparations begin early for the Lantern Festival, which is held on 24th February and marks the end of the festival. People create lanterns and play games. On a full moon, moon-gazing amidst lanterns is traditionally the best way to celebrate.

The Chinese Zodiac is represented by 12 animals, the Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog (2018), Pig (2019), Rat (2020), Ox (2021), Tiger (2022), Rabbit (2023), Dragon (2024), and it will be the year of the Snake in 2025. The elements metal, water, wood, fire and earth also symbolise characteristics in someone born in that year.

The Dragon is also associated with the years 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952, and 1940. People born in Dragon years usually possess natural courage, tenacity, and intelligence, often displaying enthusiasm and confidence.

In Chinese culture, the Dragon holds a significant place as an auspicious and extraordinary creature, unparalleled in talent and excellence. It symbolizes power, nobility, honor, luck, and success. Consequently, 2024 is forecasted to bring about opportunities, changes, and challenges. If you're seeking a shift in your current lives, this year might offer a favorable chance.

Check your birth year on the Chinese Zodiac chart here - Zodiac Chart

Many of our restaurants will be celebrating Chinese New Year on 10th February. As the new year technically lasts until 24th February, it's the perfect excuse to dine out on any day of the week.