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Kung Hei Fat Choi! Happy (Chinese) New Year!

Kung Hei Fat Choi! Happy (Chinese) New Year!

February 16th marks the first day of this years’ Chinese New Year, but much like the Western New Year on January 1st, the majority of the celebrating is done on New Year’s Eve with fireworks, feasting, and dragon dancing. Unlike the Western New Year celebration of just one day, Chinese New Year is a 15 day celebration! Many businesses close during the first five days and people are encouraged to spend time with friends and relatives rotating between each other’s houses for meals and celebrating.

Legend has it that there was a wild beast that would appear at the end of each year that would attack and kill the villagers! Grim! They realized that the beast was scared off by loud noises and bright lights and this was how the tradition of fireworks came to be on New Year’s Eve. Today, we know that there is no wild beast to attack us, so I like to think that the bright lights and loud noises could shake up and scare away any bad feelings or experiences from the past year so we are able to start fresh with the new one!

The color red is prominent throughout the celebration time and is thought to bring good luck and wealth. Red envelopes of money are given to children and unmarried, non-working adults. To learn more about this tradition and more, check out this article.

This year is Yellow Dog + Earth Element.  What does this mean? Well, the Dog part means that there will be an abundance of good luck for people that love dogs and have dogs in their life. Yellow is the color of the Earth/Earth Element and is explained beautifully by one of my all-time favorite acupuncturists, Lillian Bridges. She has put together a detailed forecast for the New Year and it is fantastic! She speaks about everything from how we may see more earthquakes and volcanoes erupting (Earth smashing Earth) to political injustices being fought more prominently than ever.

Lillian goes on to talk about how being a Dog year, and dogs live in packs, we will see an even larger shift towards gathering with family and friends, and new friends! A major underlying theme will be generosity, kindness, sympathy, and empathy…in general, people will care more. I personally love this aspect so much! I often think that I might care too much, but maybe not? And this year I will be joined by all of you caring, loving beings!

To read Lillian’s full 2018 Year of the Dog Forecast, click here.

Food plays a major role in any celebration, but Chinese New Year feasting takes things to a whole new level. Some dishes are chosen for the New Year’s celebration based on their pronunciation, writing, and appearance. For example, in Chinese, tangerines (cheng) sound the same as “success”. Not only does each dish matter, but how it is prepared and eaten as well. Dumplings are a common dish and when preparing them you must make many pleats – if the dumpling is too flat, it means poverty. Dumplings also should be displayed in lines, not in circles as circles represent your life not going anywhere! The top lucky foods and what they symbolize can be found here.

Do you know what your Chinese zodiac sign is? I am the Dragon, which is said to not have the best year this year…but because I spoil my dog so much I think I will end up on the lucky side of things after all!

Kung Hei Fat Choi! A happy and prosperous new year to you all!

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