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Tips for celebrating Chinese New Year from Wendy Yu

Wendy Yu is a renowned Chinese investor in fashion and technology, an entrepreneur and a philanthropist. Her talent for both business and fashion is impressive and she is just as comfortable on the front row of Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week as she is on the boards of both the charity Amfar and the Mengtian Group, her family’s business. Here, Global Blue asks Wendy Yu to reveal her top 10 tips for celebrating Chinese New Year, including her favourite Chinese New Year traditions and Chinese food, and the best Chinese pampering treatments in London. 

Emily Scrivener

by Emily Scrivener

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1. Buy something red for yourself. Red is the key colour for Chinese New Year so I usually wear a lot of it over this period, even opting for head-to-toe red, as it means good luck and prosperity in Chinese tradition.


2. Prepare plenty of lucky money in red envelopes to give to your family and loved ones. I believe it makes you happier and luckier when you share happiness and good luck with other people.


3. Enjoy good Chinese food. I personally love spicy hot pot, authentic Peking duck with pancakes, and home-made rice cakes and dumplings.


4. In terms of Chinese New Year decorations, Chinese lanterns, paper-cut window grilles and lucky cats are all ideal decorations to celebrate New Year and bring good luck.


5. Wear a Chinese costume if you love dressing up. I love the traditional Chinese qipao and tangzhuang dress styles and I’m constantly inspired by 1930s Shanghai glamour. I am also obsessed with designs by my dear friend Huishan Zhang. He combines his vision of East meets West beautifully in his modern, couture-like ready-to-wear and atelier lines.


6. Watch Chinese movies. My personal favourites are In the Mood for Love and House of Flying Daggers. They feature the most beautiful and fascinating Chinese costumes from the Tang Dynasty to 1960s China, so it’s a good way to study Chinese fashion history as well.


7. Play Chinese games. My favourite is a Chinese poker game called dou di zhu – fight the landlord – which I first played when I was four. It’s so entertaining but also good training for your brain and statistical and analytical skills.


8. Schedule an appointment with a feng shui master – but make sure they’re really good! It may sound a bit mystical but most Chinese people believe in feng shui, including many successful business people. I was sceptical about it when I was young but now I understand the methodology which is generated from the ancient Chinese text I Ching – Classic of Changes – which is philosophical and thought-provoking.


9. Pamper yourself the Chinese way. Chinese treatments, such as acupuncture, cupping and Tui na Chinese massage, have been famous for over 1,000 years. In London, I would recommend going to the Bulgari Spa, Mandarin Oriental Spa, or Chuan Spa at the Langham hotel for Chinese beauty and wellness treatments as they have amazing therapists. I also like to paint my nails red with gold glitter for both my Chinese New Year manicure and pedicure.


10. If you want to go the extra mile, it is a Chinese cultural tradition to ‘climb high and gaze far’ on New Year’s Day, to bring good luck to your business, career, studies and fortune. In London, the perfect places to visit include the Shard, the Gherkin or the London Eye.

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