In case you missed the New Year Celebrations on December 31st, you have another opportunity on January 31, day of the lunar new year. Decorate with Red Chinese Lanterns. Gift your friends with red money envelopes. Welcome the Year of the Horse which, according to astrologer Susan Levitt, will be a time of high energy and unexpected adventures. Decisions can be made quickly. But, Levitt advises, if you have the slightest doubt, take the cautious route. Better to stay where you are than leap too quickly.
For the Foodies among us, Chinese New Year celebrations also include special foods. Here are ten of them taken from CHOW, a website about food. http://www.chow.com/food-news/54874/10-good-luck-foods-for-chinese-new-year
Display and eat tangerines & oranges for good luck. If leaves are still on the fruit, there is an additional bonus of longevity.
Eat long noodles for long life.
Prepare the Tray of Togetherness for Guests – 8 compartments of special foods which could include kumquats for prosperity, coconut for togetherness, and red melon seeds for happiness.
Cook up some Nian Gao – steamed sweets that include glutinous rice flour, brown sugar, & oil. The word gao sounds like the word for tall; thus these cakes encourage new heights in the coming year.
Eat Pomelo, another citrus fruit that encourages continuous prosperity.
Prepare Jal, a vegetarian dish that cleanses the body. Ingredients may include sea moss for prosperity, lotus seeds for children, noodles for longevity, lily buds for 100 years of harmoninous union, and Chinese black mushrooms so your wishes come true.
Long leafy greens and long beans served whole wish your parents long life.
A whole fish, with its head and tail intact, helps avoid bad luck.
Desserts sweeten life in the new year.
Yuanbao dumplings bring prosperity.
I hope this Year of the Horse brings each of us the blessings of good health, prosperity, harmonious relationships, and excitement mixed with caution.
Featured Image – Year of the Horse Symbol by Ripnel Patricia, Creative Commons Attribution, Wikimedia Commons
Susan Levitt, Horse Year 2014. http://susanlevitt.com/astrology/horse-year-2014/
Roxanne Webber, 10 Good Luck Foods for Chinese New Year, http://www.chow.com/food-news/54874/10-good-luck-foods-for-chinese-new-year
Sandra Wagner-Wright holds the doctoral degree in history and taught women’s and global history at the University of Hawai`i. Sandra travels for her research, most recently to Salem, Massachusetts, the setting of her new Salem Stories series. She also enjoys traveling for new experiences. Recent trips include Antarctica and a river cruise on the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel.
Sandra particularly likes writing about strong women who make a difference. She lives in Hilo, Hawai`i with her family and writes a blog relating to history, travel, and the idiosyncrasies of life.