On February 8, China ushers in the New Year as determined by the Chinese lunar calendar. 2016 is also the official Year of Hóu (猴) with many celebrations planned all across China as they pray for a good harvest in 2016 (Feb is the end of winter in China). At the same time, we’ll be in full swing at Groot Constantia harvesting the fruits of 2015’s labour.
Origins of the Chinese New Year
According to legend, a mythical beast called Nian once lived and hibernated in the high mountains towering above China. Every year Nian – the Chinese symbol for “year” – would descend from his cave on the first day of the New Year to eat livestock, crops, villagers and even children for which he had a particular taste.
The villagers lived in fear until one day the wisest men of the country came together to discuss how they can scare away the beast. A strange man with a long beard revealed that Nian was afraid of the colour red and loud noises.
As the villagers began to prepare for the next New Year, they hung up red lanterns and paper scrolls on windows and doors. At the entrance of each village, brave young men gathered and threw down firecrackers as Nian approached their village.
The beast was scared away never to return to the villages again. New Year became a commemoration of the “passing of the Nian” and to this day is celebrated with firecrackers and anything red.
A joint celebration
Groot Constantia is proud to celebrate the Chinese New Year with our guests. As the oldest wine producing estate in South Africa with a rich history spanning over three centuries we also have a deep appreciation for the past.
To commemorate the Chinese New Year we decorate our tasting room with red banners and scrolls bearing festive greetings. On arrival our friendly staff will greet you, after which you can enjoy the many activities on offer at Groot Constantia including daily wine tastings; cellar tours; chocolate and wine pairing; a tour of the Homestead Iziko Museum; picnics and deli treats at Simon’s Restaurant and a sumptuous dining experience at Jonkershuis Restaurant.
But the festivities don’t stop there. Another Chinese New Year tradition is the Red Envelope exchanged as a gift amongst family and friends. Each Red Envelope brings with it good luck and prosperity to the recipient. At Groot Constantia we celebrate this tradition with our very own Red Envelopes to welcome the Year of the Hóu (猴).
And while it is winter back in China, South Africa is basking in the sun which makes it the ideal time to sit back and enjoy some of Groot Constantia’s award-winning wines. Compare tasting notes with Groot Constantia Chardonnay – voted best Chardonnay in the world – or sip, swirl and savour a glass of the Grand Constance – a firm favourite last year.
Here’s to the Year of the Hóu (猴) – may it be filled with possibility, prosperity and happiness.
What does your favourite Groot Constantia Vintage look like?
Take a picture of your favourite vintage of Groot Constantia wine, post it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #GrootCrush and stand a chance to win amazing prizes including a picnic for two on Groot Constantia’s famous rolling lawns!
Terms and conditions
Prizes are not redeemable for cash. The prize vouchers will be valid until June 2016. Must be redeemed at Groot Constantia Wine Estate, Cape Town, South Africa. Prize Voucher for Wine must be collected from the estate, i.e. Groot Constantia will not transport or deliver prizes to winners’ locations. This competition will run from 1 February 2016 to 30 March 2016.