Sweet & Sour:
Since tomorrow officially begins the “Year of the Pig” in the Chinese Lunar calendar, I have the honor of writing this entry. I promised I’d get back to you with some information on Chinese New Year’s traditions. You would have heard from me sooner, but this “not-so-little piggy” stayed home in bed with a cold the past few days. Computious was curing a ham – me!
This is a special Year of the Pig that comes only once every 60 years. It’s the Year of the Golden Pig. Babies born in this year are supposed to be extra smart and healthy.
Chinese New Year is a time of festivity, food, and most importantly, family. So here’s our “family” sharing with you some of our favorite Chinese New Year traditions:
Sweet & Sour:
Unlike what many people think, pigs can be just as clean as other popular pets. I love cleanliness! My favorite part of Chinese New Year is the time before new year’s when we clean up the house. We “sweep out” the bad luck and start fresh.
I love all the red clothing and decorations. (I have my favorite New Year’s outfit on!) Red is a powerful color in the Chinese culture and symbolizes good fortune. Many families buy new clothes for the new year. That’s one of my favorite traditions!
In addition to all the good food, I like receiving the red envelope with “lucky” money in it. Usually children and single people receive them. I’m saving for college, but I’ve got my eye on a pink iPod, too!
With my sweet tooth, of course I love the sweet goodies. My favorite is the sticky rice ball with red bean paste. The stickiness symbolizes family loyalty — sticking together!
I like the firecrackers that welcome the very beginning of the new year. Many people believe the Chinese invented firecrackers and fireworks. (Children need to be careful though and stay near their parents.) Because my hearing is so sharp (my ears are big!) I usually stay inside to listen to the firecrackers. Otherwise I get a headache!
My favorite tradition comes from Northern China, where on New Year’s Eve they serve potstickers (“jiao zi”). They represent wealth because their shape looks like golden ingots, which were used as money many years ago. Computious taught me how to eat these tasty dumplings with chopsticks, too!
My favorite Chinese New Year’s tradition? Is when it’s the Year of the Tiger! Three more years to go! Besides that, though, I like to polish my claws practicing my Chinese paper cutting skills to make the decorations for the doors and windows. I usually end up with paper cuts on my paws (ouch!) and you’ll see me wearing a lot of Band-Aids after New Year’s Eve.
I like being part of the dragon in the Dragon Dance, which takes place on the last day of the New Year celebrations. Many Chinese equate the length of the dancing dragon with the amount of good luck the new year will bring. Dragons have been powerful symbols in Chinese culture for centuries. Most of them are good.
Chinese New Year is a time of new beginnings, family reunion, and wishing others well. We wish you only the best!
This posting is written by Computious® – The Everyday Sage of the Digital Age! – and her friends DotComplicated, Serge deFault, her sister MeiMei, as well as other friends Sweet & Sour the Pig, C.C the Cat, PingPong the Panda, and Elman the Elephant. What a group of characters!
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