Happy Chinese New Year and Happy Valentine’s Day?
When I was a kid, Chinese New Year meant I got little red envelopes filled with money and we ate lots of food. Now as an adult we still eat lots of food, but it’s about more than red envelopes-it’s about family and tradition.
This year the first day of the Chinese New Year is February 14th, which also happens to be Valentine’s Day. So you can bring on the red and pink and say “Gung Hey Fat Choy and I Love You!”
It’s the Year of the Tiger. The Tiger is the 3rd sign in the Chinese Zodiac cycle and it is a sign of bravery. Unllike the Western Zodiac which is based on birthdates, the Chinese Zodiac is based on birth years. Year of the Tiger is said to be filled with drama and there is often tension and unpredictability in the air. Astrologers say 2010 will bring far reaching changes for everyone. What”s your sign and what”s ahead for you in 2010? Click here.
Traditionally before the new year, you should clean the house-out with the old to welcome the new. On New Year’s Eve the family comes together to celebrate with a big dinner and to welcome the new year with happiness, success, good fortune and luck. On New Year’s Day you should wear brand new clothes and decorate the house with red symbols.
Since I have a newborn and a toddler, my house is “sort of” clean, my parents are coming to my house instead, were having a New Year’s Day lunch, I’m still wearing my maternity shirts and my house is decorated with my son’s fingerpaint art. Who says you can’t create your own traditions?
But we are still having a big feast. It’s amazing to me how much symbolism is in the food. A traditional meal should always include a whole fish-this represents success, dumplings-this symbolizes money and prosperity, and noodles stand for longevity.
As for the red envelopes, it’s a way to pass on good luck to the next generation so now that I’m an adult, I’ll be the one giving them out.