Category Archives: Nonsense

10 Fun Facts about Chinese New Year

Help for Heroes, Go Ape's 2013 Charity

It’s Chinese New Year and it’s the Year of the Monkey! So, if you were born in 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004 (and of course, 2016), then this year is dedicated to you and only you. Being monkey enthusiasts ourselves, we thought we ought to find out a bit more about the New Year festivities. So here are 10 facts about Chinese New Year that you might not know:

1. New year, new date

It changes every year; this year it falls on Monday 8th February 2016.

2. Tiger, snake or dragon

The Year of the Monkey is just one of 12 animal houses – others include the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, rooster, dog and pig.

3. Good luck to you

Chinese New Year doesn’t just welcome in a brand New Year, it’s purpose is to encourage luck and prosperity in the forthcoming year.

4. Korean New Year?

China is not the only country to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Other places include Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea, North Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Brunei, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau.

5. Red envelopes

Red envelopes containing money, are given to young children to wish them luck for the New Year. (The colour red is synonymous with good luck; so lucky pants in China are bound to be bright red!)

6. Thou shalt have a little fishy

Fish is a popular dish on New Year’s Day, as it is believed to bring surplus money into your life.

7. Fireworks

Fireworks and firecrackers are a traditional celebration of a New Year, but did you there is a pattern to setting them off? The tradition is to light the small fireworks first, followed by 3 large ones. This is said to symbolise the fading out of the year and the welcoming of the new. The bigger the bang, the better the luck!

8. Say a little prayer

Visiting a temple to worship over the New Year is thought to be one of the best things to do to ensure a positive year to come. Shanghai sees thousands of worshippers visiting the Longhua Temple to pray for a better year ahead.

9. Bad luck

You must not clean the house in the first 3 days of the New Year to avoid washing away all your good luck. Some avoid washing their hair for fear they will wash their good fortune down the drain.

10. Did you know…

“Xinnian Kuaile” means “Happy New Year” in Chinese


Feeling inspired to celebrate Chinese New Year in style? Why not host your own celebration at school by having a fish dinner, exchanging red envelopes containing treats, and of course, lots of monkey arts and crafts.

10 things you didn’t know about Monkeys


Monday 8th February 2016 marks Chinese New Year and this year it’s the turn of the monkey! It’s time to go bananas, our year has finally come! Yes, we know apes aren’t technically monkeys but we don’t like to split hairs (or furs) – we’re all simians so we’re going to celebrate right alongside them.


To mark the start of the Year of the Monkey, we did a little research and found some weird and wonderful facts about our friends that we didn’t already know. Here are 10 facts about monkeys that will make you say “ooooo.”

1. How many?!

There are approximately 260 living species of monkey

2. The food chain

Some of the top predators of monkeys include big cats, snakes, crocodiles and even some eagles

3. From little…

The smallest monkey is the Pygym Marmoset which is less than 6 inches in length

4. To large…

The largest species of monkey is the Mandrill which can weigh up to 110lbs (50kg)

5. To incredibly loud!

The loudest monkey is the Howler monkey, which can be heard for 2-3 miles.

6. Worship

In India, monkeys are worshipped as they represent the God Hanuman.

7. Ape or monkey

You can easily tell a monkey and an ape apart. Apes have no tails!

8. Family ties

A group of monkeys is called a “troop”

9. The old and the new

There are 2 groups of monkey, Old World monkeys that live in Africa and Asia, and New World monkeys form South America.

10. Life span

The life span of a monkey is 10-50 years depending on it’s species


How are you planning on celebrating the Year of the Monkey? Whether you’re monkeying around in the trees or going bananas on the ground, share your ideas with us!

It’s National Gorilla Suit Day.


31st January 2016: National Gorilla Suit Day. It’s a date for everyone’s diary!

It’s the day when men, women and children of all ages don their gorilla suits. It’s one of our favourite days of the year; the day when it’s not unusual to see the office overrun with hairy beasts!

Here at Banana HQ, we’ve got hundreds of snaps of us in our gorilla suits in the archive. The last half hour has had us rolling about on the floor laughing at some of the things we get up to…

Take a look at a few of our favs:

From a gorilla wedding to a sunny afternoon punting on the river Cam, everything seems more fun in a gorilla suit!

2701Gor 2701Gor2 2701Gor3 2701Gor4















Time to get that dusty gorilla suit out of the closet!

What’s your goal this year?


Goals. We set them almost every day. There’s the classic ‘To Do’ list, our weekly promises to start a diet on Monday (to reach an unachievable weight goal!), those times you tell yourself to waste less time on Facebook (try less than half hour a day!) – and then there’s New Year’s resolutions.Snow2

What makes New Resolutions different?

The start of a New Year is like creating a fresh chapter in your book of life. It’s the time when you can have a real spring clean on you. So get your thinking caps on and take a long hard look in the mirror – what would make you happier? what would make your life more fulfilling?

So what is your goal this year?

Firstly, make them realistic! Going to the gym everyday is not only boring us at the very thought, but it’s also totally unrealistic.
Think specific. If you want to lose weight, tell yourself how much. That way you’ll now when it’s time to celebrate!
One at a time! Don’t think too big – you certainly won’t be able to quit smoking and start a new diet at the same time. You’ll be setting yourself up for a fall very early in the year!

Tree Top Adventure Go ApeLive Life Adventurously!

Here at Banana HQ we like to live out our ethos and create adventurous goals! Here’s what some of the team have planned to see that they’re living life adventurously:

  • Husky racing in Finland – sign us up!
  • Island hopping in Croatia – make sure you come back Hannah…

Why not get your next Go Ape adventure in the diary? We hope living life adventurously is on your radar in 2016!

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