Tag Archives | 2017 Chinese New Year

January 28: Year of the Rooster

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People born in the Year of Rooster according to Chinese zodiac have many excellent characteristics, such as being honest, bright, communicative and ambitious. Most of them are born pretty or handsome, and prefer to dress up. In daily life, they seldom rely on others. However, they might be enthusiastic about something quickly, but soon be impassive. Thus, they need to have enough faiths and patience to insist on one thing.

  • Strengths
    Independent, capable, warm-hearted, self-respect, quick minded
  • Weaknesses
    Impatient, critical, eccentric, narrow-minded, selfish

This is the most important holiday in China – like Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Thanksgiving combined. It has been celebrated for over 4000 years.  The actual date is not fixed because China used a lunar (moon-based) calendar. It’s on the first day of the first moon and falls between January 21 and  February 19. The exact date used to be announced by the Emperor himself. As the Son of Heaven, only the Emperor had the right to set the calendar. It was a major event because farmers planted their crops according to the Emperor’s calendar. If the calendar was correctly set and the growing season was successful, there would be plenty of food.

Chinese families spent weeks getting ready for New Year. They would clean house, pay bills, bathe, have their hair cut and put on new clothes, usually red in colour. In the old days, many poor people could afford to eat meat only once a year. They would save their copper coins and go hungry the rest of the year for this special occasion. The main meal was eaten at a round table. If someone was absent, a place would be set for him anyway in front of an empty chair.

chinese-foodThe holiday is celebrated in much the same way now. Special foods include rice cakes, pork, noodles, fish  and dumplings stuffed with chives and pork. There is a special dessert called Eight Treasure Pudding which signifies family union. It is made with sticky rice, lotus seeds, red dates, dried candied fruits and red bean paste. In the afternoon, people visit family and friends and exchange gifts. Children are given lucky money in red envelopes.

On the streets there may be a lion dance or a dragon parade, accompanied by beating drums, cymbals, dancers, acrobats, jugglers, and musicians. Firecrackers are supposed to scare away evil spirits. In the evenings, colourful lanterns dot the storefronts and fireworks light up the sky.

Chinese New Year celebrates family and friends, and symbolizes good luck and a new beginning. It is the most important holiday in China.

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CHINESE ZODIAC

Chinese Zodiac relates each calendar year to an animal and its reputed attributes, according to a 12-year cycle. The twelve animals are the following: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse. Ram, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig.  Legend has it the twelve animals were chosen by Buddha.

 

So, go and treat yourdelf to some Chinese food today to celebrate Chinese New Year. Gung Hay Fat Choy!

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