This year Chinese New Year falls on January 23rd, 2012 that's this Monday! Which makes Sunday January 22nd Chinese New Year's Eve. New Year's eve is when all the parting goes on.
We follow many of the traditional customs and superstitions (show me a holiday where you need to clean the house top to bottom and buy a new outfit, and I'm IN):
- Decorate with Oranges! Big bowls of Oranges everywhere . . . specifically in the center of your home. Oranges and tangerines represent luck and wealth (two things we could all use a little more of). A lucky number to keep is 9!
- Buy and play with some Firecrackers or fireworks or both. It's believed to ward off evil spirits.
- Complete a thorough clean of the house . . . TOP to BOTTOM!! Start the New Year with a clean slate. When your done make sure to wash your cloths and dusters and empty the vacumm cleaner.
- Make sure there is no laundry to be done.
- Decorate Doors and Windows with RED (happiness) and Gold (wealth).
- Make sure to settle all unfinished business so that you don't drag it into the new year.
- If possible clear off any debts!
- Make sure all projects around the house are finished and if you won't have time to finish it before New Years Day don't start it until 1 week after!
- Lots of Fresh Flowers!!! Everywhere!
- Display bowls of Nuts and Candy! Fruit, nuts, food and sweets symbolize abundance!
- An orange tree is ideal to display in your home for Chinese New Year, but if you can't find one any new living plant would be beneficial. (display your new plant on the EAST side of your home)
- Get a Hair Cut before New Years Day, cut away the old.
- Burn Candles and Keep your front porch lights on to attract good chi.
- Hang a gold bell in the Northwest corner of your home to bring helpful people into your life!
- Buy a new outfit to wear, preferably in RED, but any bright color will do. Nothing Black!
- If possible buy a new wallet, again preferably in RED, fill it with crisp NEW bills. If you don't buy a new wallet fill your existing wallet with Crisp New Bills anyway.
And Lee's favorite part:
- Host a BIG feast on New Year's Eve.
- We'll be making Pot Stickers (eaten at midnight)
- Sticky Pork in Lettuce wraps.
- Shanghai Noodles to symbolize longevity (don't cut your noodles or you'll be cutting your life short).
- Steamed Halibut
- Chinese Egg Drop Corn Soup
- Crispy Skin Chicken with ginger/scallion sauce.
- Tea Eggs
- Spring Rolls
- Chinese Long Beans
- No Swearing or getting angry. A bad mood is bad on New Year's Day.
- Don't say the number 4 in Chinese it sounds like death so people avoid saying it. Also don't serve or eat any food served in numbers of 4, for example instead of taking 4 dumplings take 3 or 5 instead!
- Don't do any washing or cleaning on New Year's Day or you'll risk washing away all your good luck . . . Definitely NO sweeping.
- You're appearance on New Year's Day will set the Tone for the rest of the year. So Make your outfit a cute one!
- Never wear black on Chinese New Year!
- Don't go to bed early on New Year's Eve. Stay up with family and pass the time playing games! After Midnight give red envelopes containing Money!
- On New Year's Day don't try not to use knives or scissors, you'll risk cutting through your good luck!
- and Last on New Year's Day eat a vegetarian diet for the whole day . . . an attempt to counteract the excessive feasting from the night before!
"GUNG HAY FAT CHOY" everyone!!!