Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations and wishes from Finland and Asia

Paris-based Chinese artist Chen Jiang Hong displays the commemorative stamps themed on the Year of the Ox during the issuing ceremony in Paris, France, Feb. 6, 2021. Photo: Xinhua

Amid the global pandemic, Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations worldwide looked different this year but they still conveyed the best wishes of people saying goodbye to the year of the Rabbit and welcoming the year of the Ox.

Around the first day of the new lunar year on 12 February, various online celebrations have taken place in the Nordic Region to welcome the year of the Ox. Despite offline activities of the “Happy Chinese Spring festival” that can not be held in Finland this year, Helsinki City’s official website still broadcasted a special gala combining Chinese traditions and Finnish characteristics in celebration of the new lunar year.

In various post offices around the world including Singapore and Japan, the new year is celebrated with the issuing of “Year of the Ox” stamps, and the president of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, wished a special happy Lunar New Year to the Chinese people. “May the Year of the Ox bring us joy and health,” he said, adding that the Ox represents positivity, courage, honesty, and hard work in Chinese culture, all of which are central to the work the UN does.

In celebration of the new Lunar year, Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn issued a greeting card for the Year of the Ox, which featured a handwritten message by the princess that said the breath of the Ox reaches up to the heaven, or Niu Qi Chong Tian in Chinese, a Chinese phrase used to wish people good luck.

Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Cambodian Prime Minister sent his new year wishes over Facebook with the message, “Gong Xi Fa Cai 2021, My wife and I would like to join the celebrations with all of you on this occasion. He sent his greetings by wishing overseas Chinese, Cambodians of Chinese descent, and the Cambodian people happiness, good luck, and fortune in the Lunar New Year.

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