New Year’s is almost upon us! Chinese New Year that is. Unlike the western world who celebrate the new year when the clock strikes midnight on January 1 of the new calendar year, the Chinese New Year falls on a different day every year depending on the lunar calendar. This year it will be the 16th February, and I thought it was time to get to know this holiday a little better.
Unlike the western calendar’s New Year’s, Chinese New Year is a gift giving holiday in the form of little red envelopes. They are then filled with various amounts of money and given to children, friends, family and bosses even give them to employees. It symbolizes a prosperous new year to those who receive them and those who give them. The amount you gift to each person depends on your relationship to them. And while I think that’s a great tradition, since I’m not made of money, I’m considering giving Chinese zodiac pins out instead maybe!
New Years meals in Chinese families is a big deal, with a set menu that is supposed to help bring good luck to the family in the coming year. Fish for prosperity, and special long noodles to ensure a long life. And this is all enjoyed during China’s biggest holiday season of the year, when millions of people travel back home to their families and spend weeks catching up, celebrating and preparing for the new year.
So now that you have a little bit of insight into this holiday that’s celebrated by billions of people, but one that’s not as well known in the US, why not have a little celebration of your own this Friday, February 16th? Many Chinese Restaurants will be serving special menus, and maybe instead of red envelopes, you can give Chinese Zodiac pins to your friends and family!
Happy New Year!