Chinese New Year in Birmingham 2021: When, How and Where?

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Chinese New Year in Birmingham is perhaps the most colourful celebration in the city that marks a new year on the lunar calendar, it’s always a memorable celebration!

This year it falls on Friday the 12th February, where we’ll be celebrating the Year of the Ox.

If you’re a student living in our luxury accommodation in Birmingham, you might be wondering what you can do this year in the city.

With a national lockdown in place, we won’t be able to celebrate Chinese New Year in Birmingham like we usually would, which is super unfortunate.

That means there will be no Chinese New Year concerts or dance performances at Bullring & Grand Central like last year ☹

But, we mustn’t let this stop us from celebrating in the comfort of our own student accommodation, we can still have fun!

We’ve done our research and gathered a list of ways you can celebrate Chinese New Year in Birmingham in a safe way, let’s get started.

1. Watch CCTV’s New Year Gala

chinese new year fireworks

The CCTV’s New Year Gala is broadcast live every year by China Central Television and has the largest audience of any entertainment show in the world!

With over 1.2 billion viewers last year, tuning into the gala is a great way of celebrating in your luxury accommodation.

Viewers get to enjoy a range of different performances including dancing, magic, Chinese opera, and even stand-up comedy!

Take a look at these useful links where you can watch the New Year Gala online which will begin at 8pm (Beijing time) and 12pm UK time.

2. Cook Some Traditional Food

chinese new year traditional food in birmingham

There’s nothing better than a traditional feast this Chinese New Year, and with our state-of-the-art kitchens, there’s no better place to cook!

Special foods are said to represent good luck and fortune, with common foods including fish, dumplings & spring rolls, rice cake, rice balls, noodles and good fortune fruit.

Sweet rice balls are usually the main food for China’s lantern festival, its rounded pronunciation emphasises reunion and togetherness – perfect for Chinese New Year!

Classic dumplings & spring rolls are always super popular, and both sympolise wealth! In fact, making dumplings is very much a family activity.

It’s said that the more dumplings you eat during Chinese New Year, the more money you can make in the new year – so we guess it’s time to eat loads of dumplings 😉

Grapes are one of the lucky fruits to eat on Chinese New Year, as well as mandarin and oranges that represent wealth and fortune.

3. Decorate Your Student Accommodation

decorate your student accommodation this chinese new year

It’s definitely worth decorating your student accommodation in Birmingham to get into the spirit of Chinese New Year!

Brightly coloured decorations often fill the streets of Birmingham each year especially in the Chinese Quarter, so why not be part of the fun and decorate your luxury living.

Red lanterns are a popular choice for decoration as they’re said to warn off bad luck, which is definitely something we need to do for 2021!

Paper cuttings symbolise luck and happiness and blooming flowers such as orchids and peonies mark the beginning of spring.

Red/vermillion is the main colour that signifies this special time of year, so as long as you stick with that colour throughout your accommodation, you’re all good!

4. Stay Up After Midnight

stay up after midnight on chinese new year

This one may be a little obvious to some but staying up late on Chinese New Year is said to bring longevity to your parents.

Known as “Shousui” (守岁-show-sway), this tradition is said to keep watch over the year!

Although the city of Birmingham might be a little quieter this year, you’ll no doubt hear some fireworks to start the new year off with a bang.

5. Zoom Call With Family

zoom call with family on chinese new year in birmingham

It’s a massive shame that we can’t celebrate this Chinese New Year in Manchester with our loved ones, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do it virtually!

Zoom has become an increasingly popular tool to stay in touch with friends and family during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chinese New Year is all about the reunion of families and coming together, which is why we’d highly recommend a zoom call with family.

Stay up late on the call and wait for the clock to strike midnight with plenty of delicious snacks to keep you going!

6. Exchange Gifts

exchange gifts

Chinese New Year is similar to Christmas as it has a big focus on gift-giving, particularly in the older generation.

Red envelopes that usually contain money are the most popular choice of gift, and of course, the colour red is said to bring good luck!

These envelopes can be received electronically or by hand and are a thoughtful gift for your university friends and family.

7. Clean Your Accommodation

clean your accommodation on chinese new year

Did you know? It’s tradition to have a big clean-up for Chinese New Year, giving you the perfect excuse for a big tidy up in your student accommodation!

Tidying for Chinese New Year is known as “sweeping away the dust” and represents a farewell to the old year and a welcome to the new year.

It’s generally always a great idea to keep your student accommodation clean anyway, as it’s great for your mental health and general motivation.

Fun fact: It’s also seen as bad luck to wash your hair on the first day of the lunar year, as it’s seen as washing your fortune away!

8. Wear Something New

wear something new on chinese new year in birmingham

Get your best outfit ready for celebrating Chinese New Year in Manchester, because new clothes are said to symbolize a new start and new hope for the new year!

Usually, red or brightly coloured clothes are worn on New Years Day to support the upbeat and festive mood.

Fresh, new clothes generally mean a fresh start, but it’s important to note that you must stay away from colours like black and white which are seen as unlucky and negative.

So, get ready to welcome the new year with a fresh, stylish look, and enjoy the festivities with your friends!

We hope you found these top tips useful, although it’s a great shame that usual Chinese New Year celebrations won’t be going ahead on Birmingham, you can still make the most of it in the comfort of your own home. Grab your friends, schedule a zoom call with your family and say hello to The Year of the Ox! If you’re studying in Birmingham and wondering what to cook for your loved one this Valentine’s day, check out our latest blog here for some tips 🙂