- An important tradition on New Year's Eve is for families to gather together and spend the evening preparing Chinese dumplings (Jiaozi). According to Chinese Culture Guide Jun Shan, it is common to hide a coin in one of the dumplings. Whoever gets the dumpling with the coin will supposedly have good luck in the coming year.
- Give out money packets - On New Years day, children receive leisee - red packets decorated with gold symbols and filled with "lucky money".
- Serve festive foods - Throughout the New Years season, certain foods are served because they symbolize abundance and good fortune. Besides preparing special dishes, tangerines and oranges are often passed out to children and guests, as they symbolize wealth and good luck.
- Prepare a Tray of Togetherness - This is a circular or octagon-shaped tray with eight compartments, each containing symbolic foods such as lotus seeds and lychee nuts, that provides a sweet beginning to the New Year.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Happy New Year!
(New year begins on 1/23/2012)
(This Chinese year is the Year of the Dragon)
The Chinese calendar has been in continuous use for centuries. It predates the International Calendar (based on the Gregorian Calendar) in use at the present, which goes back only some 430 years. Basically, a calendar is a system we use to measure the passage of time, from short durations of minutes and hours, to intervals of time measured in days, months, years and centuries. These are fundamentally based on the astronomical observations of the movement of the Sun, Moon and stars.
Days are measured by the duration of time of one self rotation of the earth. Months are measured by the duration of time of rotation of the moon around the earth. Years are measured by the duration of time it takes for the earth to rotate around the Sun.
Fun Activities and Traditions
Hope you all are enjoying our cultural and informational highlights as we wait for our travel date! Brian