In the Chinese lunar calendar, 28 January marks the advent of the year of the Fire Rooster. The Spring Festival, which lasts for two weeks and includes the New Year, is the most important Chinese festival. Hundreds of millions travel to celebrate the New Year with their families.
Traditional rituals were performed to say goodbye to the old year, to welcome happiness and good harvest, and say thanks to the ancestors. Later, the harvest festival began to signify the beginning of spring.
Happy in red
Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in China.
New Year preparations in Chinese communities include house-cleaning, preparing food and buying new clothes. Houses are decorated in red, which is an important colour in China, representing happiness, success, wealth and strength. This primary colour will also decorate the streets and buildings during the festival.
Family, food and fireworks
The family New Year dinner is the most important meal of the year, which is believed to be a harbinger of good luck for the coming year. There is a symbolic meaning to the meals on offer, to their appearances or how their names are pronounced.
Fish, noodles and spring rolls are among the things on the table. It’s also significant how the food is prepared, served and eaten.
When the year changes, the streets fill with fireworks, red shredded paper and smoke. The louder the firecrackers and rockets, the better the year is going to be for agriculture and business. Dragon and lion dance performances are a part of the evening. During the feast, a visit to the temple to respect the ancestors is also a necessity.
Children and relatives receive red envelopes, emblazoned with the New Year’s animal, that contain money. The bills must be smooth, which means they must be picked up from a bank or straightened out with an iron. Virtual money transfers have started to become more common among the youth, using various apps.
Chinese New Year at Helsinki Airport
Helsinki Airport wants to delight its Chinese passengers during the festival. At the turn of January and February, New Year’s wishes and rooster symbols will greet our Chinese customers. The airport’s rooster has some hints of the traditional Finnish rooster-shaped ocarina, coloured in the red and gold of Chinese tradition.
Helsinki Airport provides 17 direct connections to Asia. Five of them are in mainland China.
The airport's Chinese-speaking service guides will distribute red envelopes to passengers, containing vouchers to the airport's shops, as well as chocolate coins. The guides can recommend souvenirs and gifts, provide information on tax free matters, as well as what payment methods are available at the airport.
The Non-Schengen Area gates, 34–35, have a two-metre tall giant rooster, and the location will have information on the Year of the Rooster.
Helsinki Airport is an important air traffic hub between Europe and Asia. The airport provides 17 direct connections to Asia from the beginning of 2017. Five of them are in mainland China: Chongqing, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai and Xi’an.