Image Credit: Annie Spratt
I love to celebrate Chinese New Year. Ever since the time I (rather foolishly) insisted on being taken out for a Chinese meal for Valentines Day, which coincided with Chinese New Year that year.
It turns out that is is quite difficult to get a table at a Chinese restaurant during Chinese New Year celebrations.
Chinese New Year is one of the most popular celebrations that Westerners have adopted from Asia is Chinese New Year. Places with a large Chinese population will often hold large and well attended celebrations on New Years Day; the most well know activity being a Dragon dance, which consists of an elaborate dragon's head and a long body supported by a number of people which performs a dance representing the sinuous flow of a river.
The purpose of many of the festivities is to frighten away bad spirits. Loud noises such as fireworks and the use of the bright colours particularly red are all intended to keep away these spirits for the whole of the year.
Another way that New Year's Day is marked by the giving of money in red envelopes. Money is given to any unmarried family members regardless of age, and to unmarried visitors. It is also usual to give gifts to family and visitors.
A celebration meal will be held on New Years Eve which may include chicken, fish, cakes, mandarins and uncut noodles. The fish dish will not be completely finished, and some will be saved for the next day to represent abundance for the coming year.
Each year is represented by an animal, and 2020 is the Year of the Rat, which begins on 28th January 2020.
If you want to wish someone a Happy New Year in Cantonese say Gung Hay Fat Choy! (literally 'may prosperity be with you') or in Mandarin say Xin Nian Kuai Le! (Literally 'Happy New Year').
Another popular way to celebrate Chinese New Year is to play Mahjong. The computer versions that are available are a type of Solitaire, but are quite addictive and a fun way to mark the Chinese New Year.
If you are lucky enough to live near to a Chinese New Year festival or parade, it is great fun for the whole family. Some of the most famous ones are:-
About eParenting: eParenting was started by Jacqui O'Brien in 2004. At the time her kids were 1 and 4 and kept her nice and busy. Now they are teenagers and still keeping her pretty busy!