Posts tagged Chinese New Year
Happy Lunar New Year: The Celebration Begins
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Just because the new year has begun doesn't mean you're allowed to rest.

While most countries that observe Lunar New Year offer three to seven days of public holidays, celebrations don't end until the 15th day of the first lunar month, also known as the Lantern Festival. (Lunar New Year in 2019 lasts from February 5 to February 19.)

There is a list of superstitious dos and don'ts for the new year but the rule of thumb is to say a lot of "kung hei fat choy"or "gong xi fa cai," and avoid saying things that may sound like a less auspicious word.

During the festival, people will travel around to visit relatives, who will prepare snacks and fill up candy boxes for the visits -- except for the third day of the month.

It's believed that arguments are more likely to happen on that day -- February 9, this year -- called chi kou (or "red mouth"). Hence, most people will engage in other activities like visiting a temple. In Hong Kong, a major spring festival horse racing event takes place every year on the third day.

During the 15 days, married couples have to give out red packets filled with money to children (and unmarried adults) to wish them luck.

The seventh day is renri, or the people's birthday (February 11). when the Chinese mother goddess Nuwa is said to have created mankind.

The highlight comes on the last day, during the Lantern Festival (February 19).

Being the only day when young girls in ancient Chinese society could go out to admire lanterns and meet boys, it's also been dubbed Chinese Valentine's Day.

Nowadays, cities around the world still put on massive lantern displays and fairs on the 15th day of the festival.

Some create more sparks than others. Like Nuanquan, a small Chinese town that puts on a spectacular "firework" show by throwing molten metal against a cold stone city wall.

Kung hei fat choy!

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Chinese New Years: Lucky Foods
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February 5th is Chinese New Years and there’s so much to celebrate! One thing that is very important to the celebration is food. There are certain dishes that are eaten for the symbolic meaning and luck.

The auspicious symbolism of these traditional Chinese New Year foods is based on their pronunciations or appearance. Not only do the dishes themselves matter, but also the preparation, and ways of serving and eating mean a lot.

The most common Chinese New Year foods includes dumplings, fish, spring rolls, and niangao. We've rounded up 7 essential Chinese, or Lunar, New Year dishes, and included the symbolism behind them all.

Here are the 7 lucky foods to eat:

1. Fish — an Increase in Prosperity

In Chinese, "fish" (鱼 Yú /yoo/) sounds like 'surplus'. Fish is a tradtional Chinese New Year dish. Chinese people always like to have a surplus at the end of the year, because they think if they have managed to save something at the end of the year, then they can make more in the next year.

Steamed fish is one of the most famous Chinese New Year recipes. What fish should be chosen for the New Year dinner is based on auspicious homophonics.

  • Crucian carp: As the first character of 'crucian carp' (鲫鱼 jìyú /jee-yoo/) sounds like the Chinese word 吉 (jí /jee/ 'good luck'), eating crucian carp is considered to bring good luck for the next year.

  • Chinese mud carp: The first part of the Chinese for "mud carp" (鲤鱼 lǐyú /lee-yoo/) is pronounced like the word for gifts (礼 lǐ /lee/). So Chinese people think eating mud carp during the Chinese New Year symbolizes wishing for good fortune.

  • Catfish: The Chinese for "catfish" (鲶鱼 niányú /nyen-yoo/) sounds like 年余 (nián yú) meaning 'year surplus'. So eating catfish is a wish for a surplus in the year.

  • Eating two fish, one on New Year's Eve and one on New Year's Day, (if written in a certain way) sounds like a wish for a surplus year-after-year.

  • If only one catfish is eaten, eating the upper part of the fish on New Year's Eve and the remainder on the first day of the new year can be spoken with the same homophonic meaning.

2. Chinese Dumplings — Wealth

With a history of more than 1,800 years, dumplings (饺子 Jiǎozi /jyaoww-dzrr/) are a classic Chinese food, and a traditional dish eaten on Chinese New Year's Eve, widely popular in China, especially in North China.

Chinese dumplings can be made to look like Chinese silver ingots (which are not bars, but boat-shaped, oval, and turned up at the two ends). Legend has it that the more dumplings you eat during the New Year celebrations, the more money you can make in the New Year.

Dumplings generally consist of minced meat and finely-chopped vegetables wrapped in a thin and elastic dough skin. Popular fillings are minced pork, diced shrimp, fish, ground chicken, beef, and vegetables. They can be cooked by boiling, steaming, frying or baking.

How they're made: Almost all Chinese people can make dumplings. First they mix the dough, second make the dough into round "wrappers" with a rolling pin, third fill the wrappers with stuffing, fourth pinch the "wrapper" together into the desired shape, and fifth cook them.

Different Dumpling Fillings Have Different Meanings

Chinese don't eat Chinese sauerkraut (酸菜 suāncài /swann-tseye/) dumplings at Spring Festival, because it implies a poor and difficult future. On New Year's Eve it is a tradition to eat dumplings with cabbage and radish, implying that one's skin will become fair and one's mood will become gentle.

How to Make LUCKY Dumplings

  • When making dumplings there should be a good number of pleats. If you make the junction too flat, it is thought to purport poverty.

  • Some Chinese put a white thread inside a dumpling, and the one who eats that dumpling is supposed to possess longevity. Sometimes a copper coin is put in a dumpling, and the one who eats it is supposed to become wealthy.

  • Dumplings should be arranged in lines instead of circles, because circles of dumplings are supposed to mean one's life will go round in circles, never going anywhere.

Lucky Saying for Eating Dumplings

Zhāo cái jìn bǎo (招财进宝/jaoww tseye jin baoww/): 'Bringing in wealth and treasure' — a felicitous wish for making money and amassing a fortune.

Read more about Chinese dumplings.

3. Spring Rolls — Wealth

Spring rolls (春卷 Chūnjuǎn /chwnn- jwen/) get their name because they are traditionally eaten during the Spring Festival. It is a dish especially popular in East China: Jiangxi, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Fujian, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, etc.

Spring rolls are a Cantonese dim sum dish of cylindrical-shaped rolls filled with vegetables, meat, or something sweet. Fillings are wrapped in thin dough wrappers, then fried, when the spring rolls are given their golden-yellow color.

Lucky Saying for Eating Spring Rolls

黄金万两 (hwung-jin wan-lyang/): 'A ton of gold' (because fried spring rolls look like gold bars) — a wish for prosperity.

Read more about spring rolls.

4. Glutinous Rice Cake — a Higher Income or Position

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Glutinous rice cake (年糕 Niángāo /nyen-gaoww/) is a traditional Chinese New Year recipe. In Chinese, glutinous rice cake sounds like it means "'getting higher year-on- by year"'. In Chinese people's minds, this means the higher you are the more prosperous your business is a general improvement in life. The main ingredients of niangao are sticky rice, sugar, chestnuts, Chinese dates, and lotus leaves.

Lucky Saying for Eating Niangao

年年高 (niánnián gāo /nyen-nyen gaoww/): 'Getting higher year-after-year by year', can imply children's height, rise in business success, better grades in study, promotions at work, etc.

Read more details on Glutinous Rice Cake.

5. Sweet Rice Balls — Family Togetherness

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Sweet rice ball (汤圆 Tāngyuán /tung-ywen/) is the main food for China's Lantern Festival, however, in south China, people eat them throughout the Spring Festival. The pronunciation and round shape of tangyuan are associated with reunion and being together. That's why they are favored by the Chinese during the New Year celebrations.

Lucky Sayings for Eating Tangyuan

团团圆圆 (Tuántuán yuányuán /twann-twann ywen-ywen/ 'group-group round-round'): Happy (family) reunion!

6. Longevity Noodles — Happiness and Longevity

Longevity noodles (长寿面 Chángshòu Miàn /chung-show myen/) unsurprisingly symbolize a wish for longevity. Their length and unsevered preparation are also symbolic of the eater's life.

They are longer than normal noodles and uncut, either fried and served on a plate, or boiled and served in a bowl with their broth.

7. Good Fortune Fruit — Fullness and Wealth

Certain fruits are eaten during the Chinese New Year period, such as tangerines and oranges, and pomeloes. They are selected as they are particularly round and "golden" in color, symbolizing fullness and wealth, but more obviously for the lucky sound they bring when spoken.

Chinese New Year fruits

Eating and displaying tangerines and oranges is believed to bring good luck and fortune due to their pronunciation, and even writing. The Chinese for orange (and tangerine) is 橙 (chéng /chnng/), which sounds the same as the Chinese for 'success' (成). One of the ways of writing tangerine (桔 jú /jyoo/) contains the Chinese character for luck (吉 jí /jee/).

Eating pomeloes/shaddocks is thought to bring continuous prosperity. The more you eat, the more wealth it will bring, as the traditional saying goes. The Chinese for pomelo (柚 yòu /yo/) sounds like 'to have' (有 yǒu), except for the tone, and exactly like 'again' (又 yòu).


2019: Year of the Pig
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A New Year means a new Animal in the Chinese Culture. The Pig is the twelfth in the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac sign. The Years of the Pig include 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031, 2043...

Earthly Branch of Birth Year: Hai
Wu Xing (The Five Elements): Shui (Water)
Yin Yang: Yin

People with Chinese zodiac Pig sign are considerate, responsible, independent and optimistic. They always show generousness and mercy to endure other people's mistakes, which help them gain harmonious interpersonal relationships. However, sometimes they will behave lazy and lack actions. In addition, pure hearts would let them be cheated easily in daily life.

  • Strengths
    Warm-hearted, good-tempered, loyal, honest, gentle

  • Weaknesses
    Naive, gullible, sluggish, short-tempered

    As the Zodiac Year of Birth (Ben Ming Nian) for people of Pig sign, 2019 could be a year full of ups and downs in all respects for them. They could receive support and help from their colleagues and leaders, but might feel stressful under too many regulations. The fortune in wealth is fair. Although they can expect a salary increase and also gain more income from financial products, there could be a lot of unexpected expenditure offsetting the favorable money increase. As for love relationship, single females of Chinese zodiac Pig may have a fairly good fortune and could start a sweet relationship in 2019.

Daily Horoscope: August 8, 2018
 
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Chinese calendar:
Day of the Water Monkey
Month of the Earth Goat
Year of the Earth Dog 2018

Polarity of the Day: Yang
Polarity of the Month: Yin
Polarity of the Year: Yang
Lucky directions: West-South-West
Lucky colors: Green

 

 
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The Water Monkey is the most cunning of Monkeys.

His curiosity and talent are as well developed as his sensibility is extreme. Indeed, if the Water Monkey is funny, charming and manipulative as all monkeys can be, his intense emotions also allow him to work with instinct, for better or for worse. On a day of the Water Monkey, creative crafts as well as inspiration and new ideas are favored. Remember, however, that if creativity and dreams are connected, the world of production, marketing and sales of a new product depends on reality, with its ungrateful work and challenging failures, must never discourage you from always starting again. Success always comes to those who persevere against the winds and tides.

Today more than ever, you feel the soul of a conqueror of the impossible, a Christopher Columbus in search of gold and glory, whom no one seems to take seriously, for the time being… If you’re single, you feel perfectly capable of seducing a movie star. Who does not try anything has nothing, but be prepared to suffer disappointments. To conclude, during a Water Monkey’s day, it is above all to oneself that one must avoid lying.

Daily Energetic chart: Weak in Wood element
Birth's character and destiny (BaGua): The Great Possession
 

Daily Horoscope: April 11, 2018
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Chinese calendar:
Day of the Water Rooster
Month of the Wood Rabbit
Year of the Earth Dog 2018

Polarity of the Day: Yin
Polarity of the Month: Yin
Polarity of the Year: Yang
Lucky directions: West
Lucky colors: Red, pink

THE WATER ROOSTER IS THE MOST OPEN-MINDED OF ALL ROOSTERS, EVEN IF HIS PERSONALITY RETAINS A STRONG DOSE OF CONSERVATISM COATED WITH A FORMAL PLUMAGE, WITHOUT WHICH HE WOULD NOT REALLY LIVE UP TO HIS ZODIACAL SIGN.

A Water Rooster is a calm person who are meticulously responsible, alert, and neat. They are devoted and proud people but don't get too egotistical!

A Water Rooster is a calm person who are meticulously responsible, alert, and neat. They are devoted and proud people but don't get too egotistical!

 

The Water Rooster is a pragmatic being, gifted for everything he undertakes, although he can sometimes be handicapped by his immoderate taste for the superfluous. His excessive ambition and his interest in very diverse subjects tend to make him lose time in his projects. However, his charm and ability to attract faithful and devoted friends around him allow him to compensate for his shortcomings and weaknesses, which are still quite rare.

Today, the energies of the Chinese zodiac sign of the Water Rooster favor artistic crafts. If you are married, enjoy a quiet evening at home. If you are single and you have a romantic appointment, don’t get impressed by your partner's fiery declarations during your date, even though it’s always nice to receive such nicely turned compliments.

Daily Energetic chart: Weak in Fire element
Birth's character and destiny (BaGua): Grace
 

Spring into the New Year

 

Spring is right at our doorstep and we are excited to let it in! 

The Chinese New year is all about celebrating this magical season, even celebrateing it for 23 days straight! 

Here are some of the activities they do to welcome in this season:

  • Many people clean their houses to welcome the Spring Festival. The also decorate their homes by putting up posters and red lanterns as they welcome family in to celebrate with them. The color red is to bring luck!
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  • Many people set off fireworks on the eve of the Spring Festival hoping to cast away any bad luck and bring forth good.
  • Children often receive "luck" money that often come in red envelops.
  • New Years Eve brings family together to celebrate the festival and enjoy each others company
  • According to historical documents this day was regarded as the first day of the first lunar month in the Chinese calendar by the ancient China's mythological emperor, Shun, led the ministers to worship heaven and Earth.
  • Like in the states the Chinese stay up until Midnight to welcome in the new year!
  • Various actives take place during the festival such as beating drums, striking gongs along with dragon and lion dances.
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So, hope you are still celebrating because even with the snow on the ground spring will be here before we know it! 

The Lion Dance was a remarkable experience
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The Lion Dance was so much fun. Look how beautiful the Lion Costumes are! The Chinese New Year happens in February. Mark your calendars for next year so you wont miss it!
#WindchimesChinese#LionDance#ChineseNewYear#BestColumbusChinese

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