The celebration of Chinese New year is a big thing for the people of China. Its is the first day of the Lunar Calendar, which usually occurs on late January or early February.
While it may seem a bit culturally exclusive, most anybody can celebrate Chinese New Year (CNY) even if they don’t hail from the country or have any Asian heritage. But how does one celebrate this event? We give you a few pointers on how to have your very own CNY celebration:
Step 1: Know what date it’s on
Unlike the set-in-stone nature of the New year celebration every 1st of January, the date for Chinese New Year changes every year. A little research has to be done to get the correct date and to what zodiac animal corresponds with the current year as well.
Step 2: Do a big cleanup
Start the year right by doing a quick life review and some tidying up. There’s a belief that cleaning your house for Chinese New Year helps “sweep up the bad luck” that has accumulated throughout the year. Once you’re done, recount the friends you owe money and set a date to repay them. Starting the year with debts leftover is an invitation for bad luck.
Step 3: It’s all about the red
Red is an extremely lucky color for CNY, so take the time to string up some red decorations, tassels, candles or any other small decorative item in a shade of crimson. Wearing a shade of red for the duration of the celebration is said to bring you good tidings as well.
Step 4: A big Chinese feast
Make or order some traditional Chinese dishes to enjoy with your friends and family upon inviting them for a CNY meal. Look also for a dish called Nian gao (aka the “Year Cake”), a glutinous rice dish.
Step 5: Good karma in generosity
Put a few dollars from your savings in a red envelope and send it to your family and friends to invite prosperity for the new year. Small amounts from 10 dollars or less will do, but avoid sending amounts with the number 4 in them as it is an unlucky number in the Chinese culture.
Step 6: Lanterns and greetings
For night number 15 of the 16-day celebration, hang up a red lantern and greet your family and friends “Gong Xi Fa Cai” (Gong tsee fah tsai) to signify the coming end of the celebration.
And that is how you celebrate Chinese New Year! Have your own Lunar Calendar-styled celebration and try your hand at celebrating this Asian event which is essentially the Chinese way of starting a new year fresh.