Happy Chinese New Year! Also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival. Today February 16th marks the first day of the New Year and officially it lasts until this Sunday, the 18th, but unofficially it will be celebrated over the course of the next two weeks. The dates change each year as it falls around the new moon closest to the beginning of spring, which is in January or February each year.
History of the New Year
The Chinese New Year and the festivities are born around a myth of a beast that would appear every New Year’s Eve and attack, and the legend says that in order to scare the beast, villagers would put up red banners, bang drums, and explode fire works. But the New Year is not just about this, it is a chance for family reunions, and feast, as well a preparing for good fortune and luck in the coming year!
Year of the Dog
This year is the year of the Dog, last year being the year of the Rooster. The birth years assigned to the Year of the Dog are 1934,1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, and 2006. Those born in the year of the Dog are said to be loyal, honest, selfless, cautious, and prudent. They can also be said to have poor communication skills and to be stubborn.
Some famous dogs are: Winston Curchill, Mother Theresa, Elvis Presley, Bill Clinton, Steven Spielberg, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Justin Bieber.
During the New Year, there are some "Lucky Foods” that are eaten.
Fish for Prosperity: it is meant to bring abundance from the beginning of the year to to the tail
Dumplings and Spring Rolls for Wealth: the legend says that the more dumplings you eat during the New Year cerebrations the more money you will make during the upcoming year. Also as a interesting note the Chinese avoid sauerkraut during this time because it implies a poor and difficult future
Good Fortune Fruits: Oranges, Tangerines and kumquats hold a special significance of abundance, happiness, good luck, prosperity, and family unity
Nian Gao for Success: Is also know as “rice cake” or “New Year cake”, they are served as a wish to be successful, and that every year will be better than the last
Noodles for Longevity and Happiness: noodles represent the hope for a long life
Try this recipe to help you celebrate New Years with your family!
Gong hei fat choy! (wishing you great happiness and prosperity)