Chinese New Year is also known as Lunar New Year. The date is determined by the Lunar calendar and falls between the third week of January and mid to late February.
One of the most colorful, as well as loudest, ceremonies is The Lion Dance.
Firecrackers are set off to scare any evil spirits away from the business.
During Chinese New Year the Lions visit shops in the Asian community to perform Cai Qing, which means ‘plucking the greens’.
Businesses tie greens, often Boi Choy, to the front of their stores, along with Hong Bao, a red envelope filled with money, in order to lure the lions into their shop.
The Lion’s presence grants the shop Good Luck and Fortune for the year ahead.
Hong Bao is a traditional Chinese way to give a gift. Weddings, graduations, holidays, etc are often a time to give money.
The red symbolizes good luck and it also is thought to ward off evil spirits.
Celebration attendees also ‘feed’ the lions a Hong Bao to insure their own good fortune.
The lions then enter each business, therefore insuring a prosperous year.
New Years meals are started with a bowl of tangerines or oranges.
They represent wealth and good luck.
Food is served Family style. It is a time to share with Family and friends.
There is always bright, colorful decor.
And you should never forget to wave goodbye to the Lucky Cat!
Happy Chinese New Year to everyone. May the Year of the Rat be prosperous for you all!!