First, Clay took time from his Sunday to answer some fan questions at the OFC. Altogether, there were 12 questions that fans asked about his upcoming concert in Raleigh. They ranged from questions about appropriate dress to accessible seating and elevators. Clay was thoughtful and considerate as he answered each question with care He even said he would try to get more information before Tuesday. So, if you haven’t read the answers, get yourself over to the OFC and learn a bit more about the event.
Do you think Clay had Chinese food on Saturday evening? Sunday was Chinese New Year…..The Year of the Tiger.
Chinese New Year is a holiday that celebrates the beginning of a new year according to the lunar calendar. It is considered to be one of the most important holidays for Chinese families.
The holiday is celebrated with big family gatherings, gift giving, the eating of symbolic foods and displays of festive decorations. All of these traditions are focused on bringing good luck for the new year and celebrating the coming of Spring.
The start of Chinese New Year changes every year since it is dictated by the lunar calendar, but typically falls somewhere between January 21st and February 20th.
On the eve of the Chinese New Year it is customary to visit with relatives and partake in a large dinner where a number of specific foods are served.
Grace Young wrote a book titled The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen. She says:
“Typically families do eight or nine dishes because they are lucky numbers. The Chinese word for eight is baat [in Cantonese], which rhymes with faat, the word for prosperity.”The word for nine means “long-lasting.”
A lot of the foods are very symbolic. Some popular foods include: dumplings (because they look like golden nuggets), oranges (because they are perfectly round, symbolizing completeness and wholeness), and long noodles (served to symbolize long life).
Sticky rice cakes and sweets are also served and are tied to a story about the Kitchen God– a Santa Claus-like figure who reports to the Jade Emperor in heaven on whether families have been good or bad through the course of the year. According to legend, when families serve the Kitchen God sticky, delicious foods, his mouth gets stuck together and therefore he cannot report any bad things about the family to the Jade Emperor.
Well, I am getting hungry!!
It is a traditional practice for adults to give children little red envelopes–hong bao in Mandarin or lai-see in Cantonese–filled with money in order to symbolize wealth and prosperity for the coming year.
Chinese New Year is filled with so many traditions. If you want more information visit Chinese Traditions
AND…………afterall, this is a Clay Aiken blog…………..Valentine’s Day was Sunday too. When I think of Valentine’s Day, I will always remember Clay and Jimmy Kimmel. So…….lets all remember with a great video.