One of the wonderful ways in which we’re partnering in mission together in our network is by supporting minister Candy Choy as she connects with people from Hong Kong settling in the West of England. Here she tells us a little more…

Lunar New Year is a big festival for HK’ers. In the Gregorian calendar, which is the one we use, the date of the Lunar New Year is different every year.

Chinese have many traditions and customs during this big festival. Chinese see Lunar New Year as a big and important festival as the British see Christmas as a big one. We have a reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve. Dining culture is very important in Chinese community. Certainly, our HK’ers fellowship arranged a warming Lunar New Year’s meal among us. We have a fellowship regularly to study Bible together. It makes us more reflections on our lives and closer to our God.

We also like wrapping ourselves in red because the colour red symbolizes luck in Chinese culture. As Christians, we think of it as ‘blessings.’ You can find the colour red everywhere during the Lunar New Year in places where they celebrate this festival. For example, “Chinese red banners” (calligraphy) are put and hung around buildings and outside one’s home, wishing good luck (or blessing) to the places. People unleash their creativity with calligraphy on red papers (with golden glitters usually). Let’s write or draw our wishes on red paper and pray for them personalized. There are some typical Christian red banners as below.

(middle) 福 means Blessings

(left)主賜平安 means Lord gives us peace

(right) 喜樂常在,恩典滿載 means always happy and full of grace (sounds in rhyme)

In addition, the Lantern Festival (15th of January in the Lunar Calendar) is the other important day for us, and it means the end of the Lunar New Year celebration. It has a similar feel to Valetine’s Day in the UK and the atmosphere is very romantic. We will play riddles and eat sweet rice balls with those we love and our families.

It is a good opportunity to let us count our blessings from God and share Chinese foods.

HK people come across the West of England. We like eat together, sing together, and pray together.  Moreover, we made sweet rice balls together too.

After a long “holiday”, our HK ladies are still keen to be better equipped as disciples and we are looking at how we can live as disciples of Christ in our every-day lives. We are currently studying Philippians and learning how to practice and joyfully live out our lives as followers of Jesus in every single day.

Please continue to pray for Candy and the people she connects with here in the West of England.