If you feel the ground trembling beneath your feet on February 16—don’t fear! It is simply the beginning of the Chinese New Year and 20% of the Earth’s population is celebrating, using the largest amount of fireworks of any one day of the year. When farming dominated life in China, this holiday blessed the upcoming growing season. Today, it is a celebration marked by good food, red envelopes, and blessings for everyone. 2018 marks the Year of the Dog, highlighting the traits of loyalty and hard work.
How to Celebrate Chinese New Year
1. Remember your ancestors
With all the celebration, it's easy to forget that Chine New Year is really a holiday for the WHOLE family, children and elders alike. Take a moment to think about your ancestors and appreciate what they did to help create your current life.
2. Eat and be merry
Is it cliche to talk all the dim sum delights that await for Chinese New Year? Well, remember to enjoy the fireworks, parades and general merriment.. Chinese New Year celebrating focuses on the positive and creating good luck for the year to come. Take time to enjoy yourself and others around you.
3. Get in on the red envelopes
Red envelopes are by the married (and elders) to children and the unmarried. The red symbolizes good luck and the money wishes the recipient good fortune for times to come. The red envelopes are also used to fend off bad spirits—just make sure to give in even numbers and not have the number 4 in the amount.
Why We Love Chinese New Year
A. We get to turn our cities and towns red
Red is an auspicious color for the Chinese New Year, denoting prosperity and energy—which ward off evil spirits and negativity. Red lanterns, envelopes and firecrackers make everything festive during the winter months in America.
B. Chinese New Year's (eve) feasting
What is a celebration without feasting with friends and family. Chinese New Year's eve dinner is one of the most important occasions of the year—celebrated with long life noodles, trays of food meant to be shared and sweet, plump oranges to spread the wealth.
C. Chores are a no-no for a few days
Good luck is at its peak in the New Year. You don't to sweep away the good ju-ju do you? Take a breather from vacuuming and mopping, and go get your dumpling on! (If you must clean, make sure it's taken care of before the 16th!)