Friday, January 20, 2012
Chung hay fat choy
Happy Chinese New Year! On January 23rd, 2012 be prepared for a sea of red and many dragon dances!
Although all Chinese New Years are special, this year is just a little bit more so. Why? Because this year is the Year of the Dragon. The dragon is a particularly auspicious symbol in Chinese culture. It's also synonymous with wealth, luck and power which are all highly valued traits.
My mother is Chinese, so I grew up ringing in the Chinese New Year with most of the traditions. Even if you aren't Chinese, feel free to try some of these traditions and see if they bring you some luck!
1. Clean your house before the 23rd, so as to have space for the abundance and luck from the new year. You do not want to clean your house on the 23rd because you could potentially clean out all this abundance and luck!
2. On the 23rd, get together with family and friends and eat some chinese food; in particular duck as it relates to prosperity. Most Chinese favor a dish called Peking Duck but if you are vegetarian, Buddah's Vegetarian (on Dundas West) makes a fantastic "imitation duck" from layers of tofu that doesn't taste at all like duck but is still amazing.
3. This one may seem a bit odd, but don't wash or cut your hair on the 23rd. I think this also has to do with the washing away of prosperity. This is a huge no-no is the Chinese community, so it must be serious.
4. Give somebody some "lucky money". These are little red envelopes that contain coins or dollar bills that are usually given to children but are gratefully accepted by all ages :)
5. Take time to celebrate and welcome the new year! Head down to Spadina and watch the lion and dragon dances. Wish someone a happy new year ("chung hay fat choy"). Wear red. Putting some positive energy into the new year will make sure it's a happy one!
Happy New Year!!!