Happy Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year is Thursday, February 3rd this year, the Year of the Rabbit. While last year’s ferocious Tiger year was about aggression, heat, high energy, and battles. This year, the Rabbit brings us peace and quiet, ease and luxury.

A Chinese proverb states that all creations are reborn on New Year’s day. The Chinese New Year is a celebration of change … out with the old and in with the new!

The celebration actually starts on New Year’s Eve with the reunion dinner. Here are a few traditions and tips for preparation.

By New Year’s Eve, you should have done the following:

· Clean the entire home to get rid of all the things that are associated with the old year.

· Put away all brooms and brushes.

· Pay debts.

· Resolve differences with family members, friends, neighbors and business associates.

· Buy oranges (good health and long life), tangerines (long relationships, fruitful and multiply for having children or persimmons (happiness and wealth).

· Fresh flowers, if they a flower blooms on New Year’s Day this is a sign of prosperity all year.

· Get together with close family members for the “reunion” dinner.

· Open every door and window in your home at midnight of New Year’s Eve to let go of the old year.

On New Year’s Day…

· Do not lend any money, otherwise you’ll be lending all year.

· Do not use foul language or unlucky words, like the word ‘four” which is the word for death, don’t talk about death or ghosts on this day.

· Do not reference the past year or things in the past, only speak of the coming year.

· Wear new clothes or shoes, especially bright red.

· Eat candy in the morning for luck and also fish and chicken during the day.

· Don’t wash your hair.

· Do not cry on New Year’s Day or you will cry throughout the whole year.

· Don’t sweep the floor.

· Don’t greet people who are in mourning.

· Don’t drop your chopsticks.

· Do not use knives or scissors.

· The first person you meet or first words heard are indicative of the setting of the whole year.

And for those most superstitious, before leaving the house to call on others, the Almanac should be consulted to find the best time to leave the home and the direction, which is most auspicious to head out.

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