Saturday, February 13, 2010

My Bubble: Before The Tiger Roars

Come tomorrow, the Chinese will be celebrating one of their most important traditional festival, the Lunar New Year or the Chinese New Year, the Year of the TIGER. The Tiger is third of the 12-year cycle of animals in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar.

The Chinese New Year is a celebration of change ... out with the old and in with the new!

Traditionally, the Chinese believes that the events that occurred during New Year’s Day may impact your life for the rest of the year.  So you're advised to be careful with your actions. Be selective with what you eat. Greet people who will bring you joy. To ensure a prosperous and healthy year, you should enhance and stimulate positive energy flow at home, at your business and at work.

Everything associated with the New Year's Day should represent good fortune. To single people, good fortune may mean love and romance. Good fortune may mean good grades to students, children for families, jobs for the unemployed and health for the sick.

The Chinese religiously follows some age-old traditions and customs during the Chinese New Year starting from;


The celebration actually starts on New Year's Eve with the reunion dinner. By New Year’s Eve, the following should have been done:

1.  Cleaned the entire home to get rid of all the things that are associated with the old year.
2.  Put away all brooms and brushes.
3.  Paid up all debts.
4.  Resolved differences with family members, friends, neighbors and business associates.
4.  Bought the following:
  • red money envelopes
  • oranges and/or tangerines
  • circular candy tray
  • flowers (especially plum blossom, peach blossom, water lily)
  • a new set of clothes and shoes for children, preferably something red or orange.
5.  Get new dollar bills from the bank. Insert the new dollar bills into the red envelopes. Now the red envelope is called a 'lee see' or lucky money envelope.

(Note: Very few modern families follow all the "cleaning" rituals.)


1.  Get together with close family members (not including married daughters and their families) for the "reunion" dinner.
2.  Pay respect to ancestors and household gods. Acknowledge the presence of ancestors because they are responsible for the fortunes of future generations.
3.  Open every door and window in the home at midnight to let go of the old year.


Decorate the home with symbols of good fortune. Here are some traditional ideas:

-  Colors: Bright red (happiness); gold/orange (wealth & happiness).
-  Fruits: Oranges and tangerines (good health & long life); tangerines with leaves intact (long lasting relationships; fruitful and multiply as in having children); persimmons (happiness and wealth).
-  Circular candy tray (candy for sweet and circular for togetherness).
-  Flowers: If flowers bloom on New Year’s Day, it will be a prosperous year.
-  Red banners or couplets with New Year wishes and symbols of good fortune in gold.

Here are some of the traditional food prepared during Chinese New Year:

1.  Jai - a combination of food that represents good fortune. Jai comprises of ginkgo nut, black moss, dried bean curd, bamboo shoots, vermicelli and scallion.
2.  Fish and chicken represent prosperity. Always present the fish and chicken as a whole. Do not cut them in pieces. The head, tail and feet (for chicken) must be presented to symbolize completeness.
  • Noodles represent longevity. Again, they should not be cut. 
  • Desserts include oranges, Chinese New Year cake (ni gao) and prosperous cakes (they look like golden nuggets).
DO’s & DON'Ts on NEW YEAR’s DAY:

1.  Greet others with "Gong Xi Fa Cai" which means "Wishing You Prosperity and Wealth".

2.  Give two 'lee see’s' to each child. Because happiness comes in two’s, do not just give one. This is your way of passing good luck to the next generation. Business owners also give 'lee see’s' to employees and associates.

3.  Wear brand new clothes - preferably in red. Children should wear new clothes and new shoes.

4.  Don’t wash the hair.

5.  Don’t sweep the floor.

6.  Don’t greet people who are in mourning.

7.  Don’t drop the chopsticks.

8.  Don’t say the number ‘four’ (Chinese homonym for death) or mention death.

9.  Don’t borrow or lend money.

As you prepare for this important festivity, think of the changes you want to make in your life ... perhaps spend more time with your family or reduce your debts or pursue a new interest.   Remember, how best the year will turnout for you depends solely on YOU!

Gong Xi Fa Cai ... and Happy New Year!

(Note:  Most of the content herein have been extracted from

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, 
but anyone can start today

4 Bubbles:

This is interesting Wenny, thank you!

That's a great post, big sis! :D

I know most of these things, because I've experienced them, but many don't know. I have linked to your post at the end of my newest post.

Happy new year!

Be prosperous and happy, k :)

RicAdeMus, you're most welcomed. Glad my post is of some value.


Hi Nino, thanks for the link. Appreciate it very much. I'll pop-in soon to check it out. :)