Happy New Year!

Chinese New Year, that is.

In a way, I’ve been a little slow going this year. As Martha Stewart would say, I’ve got a lot of “good things” going on. But it’s definitely time go jump back into the swing of things, and what better way to do that than with a celebration?

Celebrations!

When I was younger, my grandmother gave me a book of Celebrations around the World. That was and still is one of my favorite books. I’m Catholic, so I celebrate Easter, Christmas, and the rest of the commercialized American holidays, but it was always fun to read about Purim, Dia de los Muertos, Eid ul-Fitr, St. Nicholas Day, Holi, and many others. I loved seeing the colorful outfits, reading the descriptions of the delicious foods, and learning about traditions that were completely new to me.

Chinese New Year

Goodies from my work celebration: hot & sour soup, traditional Chinese desserts, green apple bubble tea, and general tso chicken.

One of the most colorful celebrations is Chinese New Year. It’s a 15-day tradition to welcome in the year with parades, yummy foods, gifts of good fortune, and family time. In the days before the New Year, families clean their houses from top to bottom to get rid of last years bad luck and welcome the good health, happiness, and fortune of the New Year.

Red Envelopes

The Chinese see red as the symbol of joy, energy, happiness, and good luck. During the new year they place crisp money in red envelopes and give them as gifts to family and friends. This is a way of wishing the recipient a happy new year filled with good luck. Traditionally you accept the envelope with two hands and to be polite, do not open the envelopes in front of the giver.

Chinese Zodiac

2017 is the year of the Rooster, the fire Rooster, to be more precise – a combination that only happens once every 60 years. Those born during the year of the Fire Rooster are thought to be very trustworthy and responsible with their work.

Unfortunately, according to Chinese Astrology, it’s unlucky if your birth sign matches the current zodiac sign. Take extra precautions to avoid any dangers or warnings. For everyone else, however, 2017 is said to be a year of good fortune and happiness. I think we can all rejoice in hearing that!

For more information about the Rooster Sign, Chinese Zodiac Signs, and Chinese culture in general, check out this comprehensive site.

Happy New Year and may it be filled with health, wealth, and happiness!

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