This weekend marks the beginning of the celebration of Chinese New Year. This is the most important and longest of the traditional Chinese holidays. 2013 is the year of the snake. The holiday is from 2/8 – 2/15. Businesses, including CCCWA will be closed during this time.
Here are some fun traditions to incorporate to your family’s celebratory weekend! ( Reference and Source: History Channel)
**Red envelopes -Called “hong bao” in Mandarin, the red envelopes filled with money are typically only given to children or unmarried adults with no job. If you’re single and working and making money, you still have to give the younger ones the hong bao money. The color red denotes good luck/fortune and happiness/abundance in the Chinese Culture and is often worn or used for decoration in other celebrations.
**Dragon – The Dragon is present in many Chinese cultural celebrations as the Chinese people often think of themselves as descendants of the mythical creature. On the fifth day of the New Year when many people have to start going back to work, they will also have the Dancing Dragons perform in the front of the office building. On the 15th day of the New Year (Yuan Xiao Jie), they will also have dancing dragon performances. The dragon represents prosperity, good luck and good fortune.
**Traditional Foods-The Chinese New Year’s Eve meal is the most important dinner of the year.Many families often celebrate New Year’s Eve dinner at a restaurant. These dishes used to be all made from scratch, but now people can easily buy them prepackaged at the supermarkets.
•Eight Treasures Rice (contains glutinous rice, walnuts, different colored dry fruit, raisins, sweet red bean paste, jujube dates, and almonds).
•”Tang Yuan” – black sesame rice ball soup; or a Won Ton soup.
•Chicken, duck, fish and pork dishes.
•”Song Gao”, literally translates to “loose cake”- which is made of rice which has been coarsely ground and then formed into a small, sweet round cake.
•”Jiu Niang Tang” – sweet wine-rice soup which contains small glutinous rice balls
•a sweet soup made of cut-up fruit: Cut fruit is added into hot/warm water which has had a thickening agent (like cornstarch).
Check your family’s local resources; there might be some fun activities in your area to celebrate this holiday!