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Chinese New Year Traditions

February 23, 2018

1 dragonRed lanterns, red envelopes, chestnuts and round fruits are a few of the hints that the Chinese New Year is just around the corner. The date is based on the Chinese Lunar Calendar and it normally falls between January 21 and February 20. For the year of the Fire rooster (2017), it will come early as we will celebrate the festivities on January 28th. Celebrating the Chinese New Year is believed to be the start of a good and lucky year for all.

The Chinese and the Filipinos almost have the same tradition when celebrating the New Year. Both celebrate with their families, both give out Aguinaldo or red envelopes with money, both light up firecrackers at midnight to ward off evil spirits and bad luck and both celebrate with good food.

2 familyFor the Chinese, this is the time of the year when they all go home to their families to celebrate. This for them is the most important meal of the year. They call it the reunion dinner. During this time, everyone should wear their new red clothes, and decorations of red lanterns, paper cuttings, and door couplets are hung. The much-awaited dragon and lion dance also ads happiness to the occasion.

Fresh flowers are also a sign of good luck and can be seen throughout the house. Popular to the Chinese are the branches of Plum Blossom (endurance and courage), Orchids (fertility & abundance or ‘many children’), Peonies (richness & peace) and Peach Blossom (romance, prosperity & growth). KumQuat Trees are also used to wish everyone good wealth and good luck.

3 red envelopeRed to the Chinese is the symbol of energy, happiness and good luck. During the festivities, the elders give out red envelopes with money to the family member to send good wishes for the coming year. The amount depends on who the envelope is given to.

Festivities won’t be complete without food!

4 foodThe occasion is celebrated by displaying round fruits or fruits that symbolizes money or good luck. To name a few fruits on the table – Orange is for abundance and happiness; pomelo if for good luck and family unity; grapes, plum, jujube (a type of date), and kumquats symbolizes good luck, prosperity, fertility, and gold.

Food served is based on their names and appearance. To name a few, Fish can be boiled, steamed or braised. This is served to increase prosperity and believed to bring a surplus of money. Chinese dumpling is a symbol of wealth. So, the more dumplings you eat the more money you can make in the coming year. Spring rolls are also served

5 foodbecause it symbolizes wealth; glutinous rice caked means higher income or better position at work; sweet rice balls are good for dessert because it symbolizes family and togetherness. Longevity noodles can’t be missed as it brings happiness and long life.

Now that everything is in place, it’s time to start the festivities and gather up the family. This is the time when we all celebrate the year that was and look forward to a new year and a new start!! From our family to yours…. Gong Xi Fa Cai! (We greet you happiness and prosperity) Xin Nian Kuai Le! (New Year happiness).

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** Thank you, Google for the photos and researched information.