Tomorrow is the start of the Chinese New Year and its time to say goodbye to
the year of the dragon and hello to the year of the snake.
Chinese New Year is extra special to me. To be multicultural and have an
understanding of a different culture is enriching. It allows me to be in touch with
myself and my heritage that I feel such a strong connection to. I love all the
celebrations, the meaning behind it, the dancing, the laughter, all the people
coming together not to mention the food and pastries that you can ONLY get during
this time of year. Believe me my freezer gets really really full!
The Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar and is a celebration of the
New Year. While it can last up to a month it traditionally lasts 15 days.
To understand more about the 15-day Chinese New Year festival let me explain some
Chinese culture background. Thousands of years ago, China was mainly an
agriculture society. Each year, the dynasty government announced annual calendar
for farmers. The calendar contained the solar, lunar and weather information for
people to know when to seed, plant and harvest on their land and even when to
work, rest, pray and celebrate for their activities. Farmers knew they could count on
the sky for their living. The sky is connected to heaven and heaven is related to
religion. The major activity of the religion is to pray to gods for good luck, wealth,
health, wisdom, career, longevity, peace, and happiness at temple or home.
The traditions that go on during the Chinese holiday include forgiving past conflicts,
hosting elaborate feasts, setting off fireworks and giving children money in red
envelopes. The Year of the Dragon is believed to bring success and happiness. The
final day a lantern festival takes place in which red lanterns are hung outside houses.
Some other traditions that are important to do during the New Year is to clean your
home and sweep away bad luck. Decorate your house with the color red because
red means good luck. Take this time to visit friends & relatives and do not argue with
people. This is a time of peace and a time to show appreciation.
I’m sure many of you have been to a Chinese restaurant and have seen the little
paper placemats with animals around them. As I mentioned above 2013 is the year
of the Snake. Find your year below and see what your animal represents for you.
Rat (1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008) — Charming, well-organized,
Ox (1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009) — Patient, loyal, determined, eas
Tiger (1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010) — Brave, warm, sincere, daring
Rabbit (1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011) — Selfless, neat, humble, quiet
Dragon (1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012) — Imaginative, strong, fun,
Snake (1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001) — Mysterious, quiet, deep thinker
Horse (1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002) — Competitive, cheerful, talented,
Sheep (1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003) — Affectionate, trusting, artistic
Monkey (1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004) — Humorous, inventive, smart
Rooster (1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005) — Determined, proud, confident.
Dog (1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006) — Loyal, trustworthy, likeable,
Pig (1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007) — Industrious, hardworking, goodnatured
There are tons of local Chinese New Year Festivities.
Be sure to see what's going on in your area!
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LOVE FEST 2013! TUESDAY FEBRUARY 12TH 8PM