Friday, January 27, 2017

Happy Year of the Rooster, 2017 / Chinese New Year Traditions

Kung Hei Fat Choy!
Happy Chinese New Year - the Year of the Rooster, the Fire Rooster, to be exact.
The Rooster brings surprises in both adventures and romance.
The festivities will end with  the Lantern Festival, which happens two weeks from now on the 15th day of the first month.
Plenty of time to party hearty!!

A New Year always means a new beginning. 
To celebrate properly one should have paid off all debts, purchased new clothes, painted the front door, and gotten a new haircut.
Maybe trying a new recipe counts, too.

Homes are cleaned before the beginning of the new year.
So give the place a quick once over.
And put away all cleaning equipment before New Year's Eve because good fortune may be swept away if you are tempted to clean on New Year's Day.

Firecrackers are set off on New Year's Eve to welcome in the New Year.
Flowers are an important part of New Year decorations. 
Red is a key colour, as it symbolizes a bright and happy future.
Homes are usually decorated with special red and gold banners, to represent happiness and prosperity.

There are many different traditions observed over the New Year period:
 • Decorate your house with apricot and peach blossoms, 
                 symbols of new beginnings
 • Share a New Year’s feast: enjoy uncut noodles, symbol of longevity, 
                 and fish and chicken, symbols of prosperity
 • Traditional dishes are steamed rice pudding, long noodles, and dumplings
 • For luck, wealth, good health, and a long life eat oranges and tangerines
 • For happiness and wealth eat persimmons
 • Do not cut your hair or use sharp knives or scissors on New Year’s Day 
                 as you may cut off good fortune
 • Wear red to scare away evil spirits and bad fortune
 • Give red envelopes to friends and family for good luck and prosperity

About food...
 • Many people avoid meat on the first day to bring good luck in the New Year. 
 • Day seven is the birthday of human beings, and long noodles (for longevity) 
                 and raw fish (for success) are eaten. 
 • On the 13th day, people eat rice congee and mustard greens
                 to settle their stomachs.
 • The 14th day is spent getting ready for the Lantern Festival on the 15th night
                 and eating some leftovers. 

Your behaviour on New Year’s Day sets the tone for the year.
No pressure.
Just so you know… the Year of the Rooster is
 • the Best Year for: Dragons
 • an Amazing Year for: Rooster, Ox, Snake
 • a Good Year for: Tigers, Rats
 • a Mixed Year for: Pigs, Goats, Monkeys
 • a Difficult Year for: Dogs, Rabbits, Horses

Sometimes the year of the Rooster is called the year of the Phoenix or the year of the Chicken. Two recipes that might suit the chicken theme, Italian style:

About the ‘do not use sharp knives on New Year’s Day’ rule…
Maybe you should pick up some chicken parts.
Better to be safe.

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