Chinese New Year 2013 begins on February 10 and marks the start of the Water Snake Year. It is the most important Chinese Holiday, which is also known as the Spring Festival in China. We also join in the celebration of this festivity, which we have accustomed from our Chinese ancestors and the Chinese-Filipino communities in our country.
Here are some Chinese Traditions and Activities to help us start the New Year right.
Preparations for the New Year begin at least two (2) weeks prior the big day. They say the best way to start is by cleaning the entire house, and even your office, from top to bottom to get rid of all the bad luck from the previous year. Everything must be done before New Year arrives, since sweeping on the day itself or even a few days after is bad luck and might drive away the year’s good fortune.
DECORATE YOUR HOME
- Place live blooming plants and flowers, which symbolizes rebirth and new growth.
- Bring home platters of oranges and tangerines, which symbolizes abundance and happiness. Make sure to keep their numbers even.
- Hang spring couplets on doors and walls.
- Serve a candy tray with eight (8) varieties of dried sweet fruits arranged in a circular way: Candied Melon (growth and good health), Red Melon Seed (joy, happiness, truth and sincerity) Lychee Nut (strong family relationship), Cumquat (prosperity), Coconut (togetherness), Peanuts (long life), Longnan (many good sons), Lotus Seed (many children). You can buy these in Chinese stores.
- Get crafty by also making your own decorations at home with the kids. Go to my posts on how to make Paper Chinese Lanterns, and Paper Fortune Cookies.
Cook your own Chinese cuisine and bring the whole family together. These are some of the traditional Chinese New Year foods served throughout the festivities:
- Meat dumpling for good lick
- Tangerines for good fortune
- Apples for peace
- Sweet rice cakes or Tikoy for more wealth
- Fish with head and tail intact for plenty
- Clams and scallops (shape is similar to ancient Chinese coins)
- Long noodles for long life
- Whole chicken for wealth and proper beginning of a new year
- Lobster for life and energy
- Rice for well-being and good fortune
- Spring rolls also for wealth
- Soup means everything better than last year
- Oranges for money and wealth
- Shrimp for abundance
Catch some Fireworks, Dragon Dances and Lantern Displays around the Metro. Some malls and establishments offer these attractions during the holiday. The Binondo Chinatown area is also a very popular place to go to during Chinese New Year.