Lunar New Year, better known as Chinese New Year, is right around the corner – a series of days where families and friends get together to celebrate, eat, pay their respects, pray for protection, health, love, and good fortune, clean, and welcome the new year. The 2019 Chinese New Year celebration will be in honour of the Chinese zodiac, the Pig.
In Asia cultures, people are generally more superstitious and like to start the New Year off with a bang, literally, to ward off unwanted spirits and welcome in a prosperous new year! Traditionally, loud noises like Chinese firecrackers are used to celebrate, and a lion dance is not complete without the symphony of drums, gongs, and cymbals to scare bad spirits away. The dancing lion (and dragon) itself symbolizes strength, happiness, longevity, prosperity, and good fortune.
There are many Chinese New Year traditions and cultural practices and we have the essentials at Eagle Creek Village to help you prepare for a prosperous year ahead.
House cleaning is a big item on the to-do list. The idea is to sweep away all of the bad from the previous year to invite good luck and fortune into the house for the New Year. You can find plenty of cleaning and storage supplies right here at Dollar Tree and Quality Foods.
In conjunction with this, the interior of homes are decorated with red paper lanterns, and walls are pasted with red papers with lucky words like “fortune” and “luck”. Bamboo plants are also a great idea as décor (or as a gift) as it is said to give good luck and fortune. Find many great décor items to symbolize your successful New Year from A Step Above.
Once the cleanse is completed and the decorations are up, a New Year dinner follows suit. The dinner is paramount to the Chinese New Year and is considered the focal point of the celebration – as that is when families and friends come together to pay their respects, give good wishes, give gifts, eat delicious food, and celebrate!
One of the most essential food items to have during the Lunar New Year is the Chinese New Year Cake, known as Nián gāo (年糕), Chinese New Year Cake in Chinese sounds exactly like Nián gāo (年高), which translates into “High Year” in English – implying a booming and successful year. Other traditional Chinese New Year dishes are dumplings (symbolizing fortune because of its gold ingot shape), whole fish and chicken (symbolizing unity), long noodles and Chinese greens (symbolizing longevity), and glutinous rice balls (symbolizing harmony). Ultimately, the dinner is a happy feast, so mix it up with fresh ingredients and food items from Quality Foods, freshly baked goods from Cobs Bread, delicious pizza from Villages Pizza, and scrumptious sandwiches from Subway!
To wish someone a Happy New Year is tradition and a must-do as a way to honor and respect your family and friends. Some phrases include “Gōng xǐ fā cái” (恭喜发财), and “Xīn nián kuài lè” (新年快乐). It is also tradition for those who are older and/or married to give out lucky red pockets/envelopes enclosed with money, known as Hóng Bāo (紅包) or Lì Shì (利是), to those who are younger. Gift cards from stores and services at Eagle Creek Village would make excellent and welcoming gifts just the same.