Today is Chinese New Year…..The Year of the Horse.
Do you think Clay will have Chinese food today?
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.
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.
“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. It’s always interesting to learn about the traditions of other cultures. My grand kids receive red envelopes each year!
We don’t know what Clay Aiken is doing this year for Chinese New Year, however, he has done some exciting things in past years – January and February! Let’s take a look:
I can’t wait to add more to this list in a few years!!
Do you celebrate Chinese New Year?