Happy Chinese New Year!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Gung hay fat choy my friends! or Happy New Chinese New Year!

 It is time to start the 15 day celebration of the Chinese New Year, that is deep rooted in traditions, families and meant to bring about a lot of good fortune for your new year.

The Chinese New Year is a celebration I am still learning about but it will be important for me to continue to learn as to be able to teach my kids.

And if you are curious about just what we do for Chinese New year, let me tell you what I have learned that past few years about Chinese New Year, the "New Year" part is a little different than what we think of when we hear New Year.

1. Deep rooted traditions

The Chinese New Year has a lot of traditions that go with it that typical New Year does not. Traditionally, the new year is meant for cleanliness. You are supposed to clean your house before the new year to sweep away any bad luck from the previous year. Getting your hair cut and wearing a new outfit is a way to start the new year off the right way.

Red is a good luck color that can be seen in all aspects of Chinese New Year. Typically, you start off the New year with a fresh outfit that contains some sort of red in it. Decorations are a very big part of Chinese New Year and always contain bright red colors. The accompaning gold in many decorations, is meant for wealth and prosperity.

2. Lucky Red Envelopes

Red envelopes are passed out to unmarried individuals from married individuals to pass on our wealth and good fortune that us elders have. There are two envelopes for each person, representing the husband and wife, that contain an even amount of money. Odd amounts are considered bad luck. The wife then hands them out to the juniors. It is said these bring good luck and fortune for the coming year. This is the first year me and Brian are married and get to give out the red envelopes!

3. The Calendar

The Chinese calendar is represented by a cycle of 12 years that repeats. Unlike our consistent number counting years. The years are: the rat,ox,tiger, rabbit, dragon, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and boar, in that order. Every year, you usher in  a new "year of the ___." This year is the year of the horse. Each animal has a representation of what it will bring in the coming year. And if you were born in that animal's year, it is said to be your year and will be a year of good luck.

4. Less drinking, more eating

It's basically a large Chinese feast full of good luck foods. And yes, you are expected to eat it all to bring yourself the good luck and fortune for the coming year. This includes rice, chicken, fish, long noodles, dumplings and many other traditional Chinese foods.

5. No resolutions

It is not about changing yourself, it's about bringing good luck, prosperity and fortune into your new year. These are brought into your new year by following some of these traditional customs. Others can include, not buying shoes for the whole 15 days of the Chinese New Year. 

This is one of the great things about sharing diferent cultures. I get to learn all these traditions and pass them on to my kids. As Brian gets to learn all about some of my families traditions for other holidays.


  1. Happy New Year to you, Brian and Lily!!

  2. So interesting! I didn't know much about the Chinese New Year--thanks for sharing :) And Happy Chinese New Year!


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