Happy Chinese New Year

Today is Chinese new year according to the lunar-solar calender.  It is the year of the rabbit.  People who are born in the year of the rabbit are talented, ambitious and articulate according to the Chinese calender in my parents’ kitchen.  Which does describe my father and sister.  🙂

For those of you not familiar with the celebrations of Chinese New Year, it’s usually a 15 day celebration of food, family and visiting friends.  There are usually parades and the dancing lions along the streets of Chinatown or Chinese malls.  The dancing lions visits the storefronts (with a parade of drums and people), and owners usually give the lion lettuce and money for good luck and prosperity in the new year.

When my sisters and I were little, we watched VHS karaoke of Chinese new year songs and sang along.  We also got to wear new clothes and collect red pockets from our elders.  Red pockets are little red envelope with money inside.  When I was little, we usually get $5 from each red pocket, but now (due to inflation?), we get $10 per red pocket.  As long as one is unmarried, one can keep collecting red pockets from all their elders.  After one is married, they need to start giving red pockets.

My family always gets together every year to eat, drink, be merry and of course, gift red pockets.  My mom and aunts usually make special dishes, and my favourite part is to see all my cousins and catch up.

My parents’ taught me two phrases to say to my elders, depending on how old they are.

For grandparents and more elderly relatives, say, “Happy new year,  and wishing you good health.”

For aunts and uncles who are young and still working, say, “Happy new year, wishing you prosperity and luck.”

So, to all my readers, Happy Chinese New Year.  May this year bring you good health and prosperity.  And if you have a Chinatown near you, check it out!


Photo source: http://www.pollsb.com/polls/p6198-chinese_new_year


Filed under Personal

5 responses to “Happy Chinese New Year

  1. Kim

    Happy Lunar New Year to you as well! I was in the Chinatown in Toronto today with friends, there didn’t seem to be anything extraordinary going on, except for the fact that the restaurants were a little busier. My friend said that some news program showed dragon dance performed in Chinatown yesterday, I guess I missed it 😦

  2. I want to go to Chinatown! I’m 1/4 Chinese and only had 1 Chinese relative (grandpa) so I never celebrated Chinese New Year. It sounds like so much fun though! And I’m a rabbit 🙂 Yay for my lucky year!

  3. Yep I remember very well one CNY in Malaysia as a child, i certainly did well out of those red packets. I think my mum used to call them “um bao”.

    Gong xi fa cai.

    Hope your CNY is good.

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