Happy Chinese New Year everyone!
As we welcome the Chinese New Year of the Goat, we thought it would be great to share with you some of the many cultural traditions we celebrate.
Surrounding ourselves with red decorations
Pasting a red “Fu” word [福] to the front door upside down is one of the most popular decorations, representing the arrival of happiness and fortune to the family.
Red New Year couplets (pair of poetry lines) are also put up to represent different meanings and values, while Gate Gods can also be pasted on each side of an entrance as they are believed to ward off the evil.
Other popular decorations include lanterns, red paper patterns, Gate Gods, Chinese couplets, and Chinese knots.
Giving and receiving red pockets
Small red envelopes filled with money are usually given to the youth and children. Red pockets is one of the main reasons that we all look forward to Chinese New Year, it is great fun, until you get married and then you have to return the favour by giving endless numbers of red pockets to those who give you new year greetings. Traditionally, these are believed to help protect and bring luck to the children.
Red firecrackers and fireworks are set off at midnight when the new year begins, to celebrate and also ward off the evil. Their sounds are usually deafeningly loud and can last forty minutes after midnight.
Eat, eat and more eating
All over China, the best feasts are usually prepared on the eve of the Chinese New Year for the reunion dinner where the whole family comes back home.
Fish is often served as it was traditionally believed to bring about fortune and a prosperous new year. Dumplings are also popular in Northern China as a symbol of prosperity.
Rice dumplings are also widely eaten in Chinese New Year celebrations especially for the Lantern Festival. Their spherical shape symbolizes harmony, happiness and the unification of a family. During the Lantern Festival, its shape also mimics the shape of the full moon on display in the evening.
Other popular dishes include the New Year Cake, Eight Treasures Rice or Congee, and Jiu Niang (sweet wine soup with rice).
Of course there are many more traditions related with the Chinese New Year celebrations. Just like how Chinese New Year carries with it its own tradition and beliefs, there are other special days within the Chinese calendar; some unique to this year.
Many of these auspicious dates relate to birth and marriage. These special lucky days "吉日" is extremely popular for couples to get married on, in Asia, wedding venues struggle to keep up with demands on these lucky days which also land on a weekend.
See below for the lucky dates (吉日) to get married in 2015:
1st, 8th, 29th
4th, 13th, 20th, 25th
1st, 6th, 8th, 14th, 24th, 30th
14th, 15th, 18th, 22nd, 27th, 29th
3rd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 19th, 24th
1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 10th, 13th, 14th, 21st, 22nd, 27th
3rd, 6th, 7th, 10th, 14th, 20th, 21st, 28th
1st, 2nd, 3rd, 14th, 15th, 16th
1st, 9th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 27th, 29th, 30th
1st, 15th, 22nd
2nd, 3rd, 6th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 20th, 23rd, 24th, 27th
10th, 11th, 18th, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 30th