ALL across Scarborough people are celebrating the start of Chinese New Year, and welcoming the Year of the Rabbit.
Restaurants, schools, organisations and families around the town are marking the 15 day celebration, which starts today.
One restaurant celebrating the New Year is the Hong Kong, in York Place, where a special buffet is being held each night throughout the festivities.
Waitress Becky Tang explains what Chinese New Year means, and the Chinese community in Scarborough will be celebrating.
She said; “Over the New Year celebrations we enjoy lots of food and fruit.
“In terms of fruit we especially enjoy mandarins as they mean luck and fortune. The Chinese word for mandarin actually means luck.
“We also eat lots of sweets and candy, like at Christmas. That is because we are wishing for our lives in the year ahead to be sweet and not bitter.
“For New Year’s Eve we get together with all our families and have a big supper together.
“This is a big event and no matter how far away we all live we all try and get home for this reunion.
“We eat at a circular table because in Chinese culture a circle symbolises perfection.
“Our New Year lasts for 15 days, and on the 7th day it is treated as everyone’s birthday.”
In China the Chinese New Year is known as Spring Festival. The festival begins on the first day of the first month in the traditional Chinese calendar and ends with Lantern Festival on the 15th day.