Let’s Celebrate Chinese New Year!
Chinese New Year is the most important and longest celebration of all the Chinese holidays. On Feb. 12, 2021, the Chinese year 4719 begins. We are about to enter the Year of the Metal Ox! Chinese New Year is celebrated in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Korea, Bhutan, and India and also in Chinatowns or International Districts elsewhere.
In China, the New Year is a time of family get-togethers. Family members meet at one another’s homes for visits and meals; most notably a feast on New Year’s Eve’. Many early Chinese immigrants in the U.S. arrived without their families, and found a sense of community with other newcomers from China instead. Today, many Chinese-American neighborhood associations host banquets and other New Year events. The Chinese New Year tradition is to reconcile, forget all grudges and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone.
Those of us who do not have Asian heritage can still enjoy a celebration for family and friends. It’s really lots of fun, and we invite you to do the same.
Chinese New Year Celebration ideas:
- Invite family and friends for a celebratory dinner online anytime between now and Feb. 26 when the Lantern Festival begins.
- Encourage every guest to dress in brightly colored attire.
- Clean your home thoroughly prior to your party, making sure to make your windows & mirrors spotless!
- Hang paper lanterns throughout your home.
- Purchase some fresh flowers and/or plants to bring new Ch’i (energy) into your home. Narcissus (daffodils), orchids and bamboo are considered particularly good choices.
- Surround yourself with fruit for a fruitful new year. Oranges and tangerines represent money & wealth. Apples represent health and safety. Pineapples represent fame and promotion.
- Place money in red envelopes if you have children and give them these envelopes for a lucky new year.
- Serve plenty of good food, including many different dishes. If I’m pressed for time, I sometimes have Chinese take-out for this meal!
- Have enough for leftovers, as this will bring good luck for the whole year.
- Play music and games.
- Refrain from cursing, as this will affect your luck for the year. If you should curse inadvertently say “Tong yen woo chi!” to reverse the affect.
These are all good things to keep in mind for the New Year celebration which lasts 15 days and ends with the evening Lantern Festival.
The Chinese Calendar:
The months of the Chinese calendar are calculated by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. Festivities traditionally start on New Year’s Eve’ or Lunar New Year (Feb. 4) and continue until the moon is brightest on approximately the fifteenth day, the Lantern Festival.
The Origin of the Chinese Zodiac
In ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal’s year would have some of that animal’s personality. Those born in Ox years are Johann S. Bach, Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolph Hitler, Bruce Springsteen, Meryl Streep, Sissy Spacek, Jessica Lange, Jane Fonda, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and Barack Obama.
The Lantern Festival
The lantern festival is held on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month, so this year it occurs on Feb. 26. Some lanterns displayed are amazing works of art, painted with zodiac signs, birds, flowers, animals, and scenes from legend and history. People hang glowing lanterns in temples, and carry lanterns to an evening parade under the light of the full moon.
In many areas the highlight of the lantern festival is the dragon dance. The dragon, which is typically up to 100 ft. long is made of silk, paper, and bamboo and elevated on the arms of many dancers moving in a snake-like line. Because of COVID-19, these activities have been canceled in 2021 in Seattle, but are sure to return in 2022 as life gets “back to the new normal.”
One activity you can attend for free online, is all about predictions for the new year. It occurs on Wed., Jan. 6; 4:00-6:00 PM, and is worth your time to attend: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/predictions-2021-experts-in-astrology-akashic-records-tarot-intuition-tickets-131752414017?aff=ebdssbdestsearch Of course, we also want you to return here to read predictions for 2021!
Future entries include:
- Forecast for the Year of the Metal Ox 01/17/2021
- Predictions for You in 2021 01/31/2021Questions? Thoughts? Let us know via email: Shelley@TFI.design!
May everything you wish go well and smoothly.