Saturday, February 6, 2010

Chinese New Year Traditions for Tiger Year

Bringing In the New Year and expelling the old
• Everything you do on this day sets precedent for the rest of the year
• While many Chinese people today may not believe in these do's and don'ts, these traditions and customs are still practiced.
• Kept because these very traditions, whether believed or not, that provide cultural continuity and link with the past.
• Courting happiness, togetherness and abundance for your family always good

Predictions of what to expect for Tiger Years
• The Tiger is rich in Chinese history and tradition and a symbol of power and authority
• The year of the Tiger is traditionally associated with massive changes and social upheaval.
• 2010 is very likely to be a volatile one both on the world scene, as well as on a personal level
• The Tiger's influence will offer us courage, while inviting bold actions and risk taking.
• Tigers will provide steely resolve, fortitude and determination to accomplish goals.
• Given that, practice traditions that will court good luck and good fortune

Traditions and rituals
• Shooting off firecrackers on New Year's Eve is the Chinese way of sending out the old year and welcoming in the New Year.
• All debts had to paid by this time. Nothing should be lent on this day, as anyone who does so will be lending all the year.
• If you cry on New Year's Day, you will cry all through the year. Therefore, children are tolerated and are not spanked, even though they are mischievous.
• All cleaning should be done before New Years. Don’t use brooms on New Years Day as you do not want to “sweep away” good fortune.
• Fish also play a large role in festive celebrations. The word for fish, "Yu," sounds like the words both for wish and abundance. Fish. As a result, on New Year's Eve it is customary to serve a fish at the end of the evening meal, symbolizing a wish for abundance in the coming year. For added symbolism, the fish is served whole, with head and tail attached, symbolizing a good beginning and ending for the coming year.

Courting good fortune and prosperity
• Encouraging everyone to hedge their bets this economic year with symbols of health, happiness, wealth and abundance
• Lai See: red envelopes called "lai see" to give to young, unmarried children for good luck.
• Use a lot of the color red, which is the color of rejoicing and happiness
• Serve golden food to represent wealth: Golden oranges and egg rolls (golden ingots)

Invitation to celebrate with the Asian community for Chinese New Year
• The Lion Dance Tradition and Symbolism: The lion dance has been part of the Chinese culture for thousands of years.
• The lion, a symbol of power, wisdom, and good fortune, chases away evil spirits and brings happiness, longevity, and good luck.
• The lion dance is also performed at many business locations during the Chinese New Year's Celebration for the lion brings prosperity and good luck to the business for the upcoming year.