Happy Chinese New Year 2012-Tradition, Food and Family

Jan
23
2012

It isn’t necessary that you dress your kids like this for Chinese New Year, but I thought it looked cute, so if not now then when, right?

I just finished a big Chinese dinner with my family (my parents came to visit) in celebration of Chinese New Year.  While preparations traditionally start early with the cleaning of the house and a big feast,  the start of the Chinese (Lunar) New Year for 2012 is actually Monday January 23.

The  “Year Of The Dragon”

The Dragon is the most powerful of the 12 zodiac signs. It symbolizes power and change.  Many are optimistic that it means better times ahead for 2012.

I’ve been celebrating and honoring Chinese New Year traditions since I was a child, but I didn’t always know the significance and what things meant.  Now as a mom I think it’s important to share these traditions with my children.   While it is a celebration, it’s more about unity, being with family and food of course, you can’t forget the food!  Here are a few traditions and their meanings.

Greeting

“Gong Xi Fa Tsai” (Mandarin) or “Gong Hay Fat Chow”(Cantonese) is how people greet others for Chinese New Year, but the translation is not just Happy New Year it meants “Congratulations and Be Prosperous”!

Food Traditions

Fish-symbolizes Abundance because the word fish also sounds like “extra” or “yu”.

Noodles-symbolizes Longevity because they are long.

Dumplings-symbolizes Prosperity-the half moon shape resembles traditional Chinese gold ingots.

Red Envelopes-“Hong Bao”

The custom of giving red envelopes filled with money to the young as a symbol of prosperity and good wishes and blessings for the new year.  If you sleep on them overnight it brings even more luck.

And if your interested in learning about more ways on How You Can Celebrate Chinese New Year With Your Family check out my latest post on Lifetime Moms.

Wishing you a year of good health, happiness and continued success!

 

 

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