Chinese New Year this year is Feb 5th and we celebrate it until Feb 19th. In our culture we have a lot of traditions and superstitions that we believe in to prepare for the new year. Chinese New Year is also known as Spring Festival. This year is the year of the pig which means 2019 will be filled with family gatherings and hopes for good fortune. Famous people born in year of the pig are Henry Ford, Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Hilary Clinton.
One tradition that almost everyone knows is that we wear red on Chinese New Year. Wearing read symbolize’s good luck and prosperity. Gift giving is red envelopes called a Hongbao is filled with money and that is given to children and employers give red envelopes to employees. When you are giving money in a red envelope money is new bills, and never given in the denomination of four because four sounds like death so no 4, 40 or 400. Eight is a lucky number in Chinese culture so that is a safe bet if you want to give money! In modern day culture they now have apps that you can send your lucky money to friends and family.
There are also lucky foods to eat during Chinese New Year. Long life noodles are a must! In Chinese history longevity was believed to be the ultimate blessing. Long life noodles are eaten because of their length and it symbolizes your life. So don’t bite them when you eat them! Long life noodles originated during the Han Dynasty.
Dumplings also called Jiaozi is another lucky food to eat durning Chinese New Years because it represents wealth. Fish is another traditional dish for during Chinese New Year Dinner because it will help increase prosperity and usually fish is served last because it will help bring luck year after year. Spring Rolls symbolize wealth so when they are golden they are meant to represent gold bars and when eaten it will bring wealth for years to come. Glutinous Rice Cake , Niangao is eaten if you want a raise or to be promoted in your job. Eight Treasure Rice if you eat it you will ensure sweetness throughout the year. Prosperity Cakes called Fa Gao will bring luck for the year. Sweet Rice Balls which is called Tangyuan represents family togetherness which is eaten during lantern festival which is the last day of Chinese New Years. There are also fruits that represent success and wealth and those are oranges, tangerines and pomeloes. There are more foods that are good luck but those are the main ones that you should eat.
There are also things to do to prepare for Chinese New Year. One is wearing new clothes and make sure they are red to ensure good luck for the year. Do not wash your hair on Chinese New Year because you will wash away your fortune. The same goes for doing laundry try not to do laundry during the first two days of Chinese New Years. Using scissors is a no no too. That is cutting away your luck so try avoiding that. You’ll want to clean your house before the new year because sweeping is a no on Chinese New Year because that is sweeping your wealth away.
With that being said, I hope that everyone has a Happy New Year and that your year is filled with good health, good luck, good fortune, success, money and happiness.