Sunday, January 9, 2011

A New Year is Coming

Just a few weeks after the January 1 celebration of a new year we have the opportunity to reflect and celebrate again.  In 2011 February 3 begins the 15 day celebration known as Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year, Spring Celebration.   On that date we will transition from the Year of the Tiger to the Year of the Rabbit.

No matter the dates, or the names of the year, tradition requires that certain foods be part of the celebration, foods that will (hopefully) bring good luck, good fortune.

In some cases it’s the appearance that make the idea clear.  Plan to share a dish of noodles representing long life – and be sure not to cut them.  For other foods is how the spoken name of the food sounds that links it to the idea of good luck.  For example words tangerines and orange remind one of the words for luck and wealth.  Fish, an important dish for family dinner served on the eve of the new year may call to mind surplus, abundance and a wish.

Although we often think of Chinese New Year as parades, dragons and fireworks, it is a time for being with ones family, welcoming the new year.  Enjoy the special foods that are part of the holiday tradition and look forward to a year of good fortune.

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