For many Chinese (and their diaspora dispersed all over 6 continents), the most important holiday of the year will be on February 1st this year. Chinese New Year is an important and favourite time for families to come together to celebrate!
The holiday is all about the food. From dumplings to citrus fruit to noodles, the foods eaten and given each have meaning and significance for the future.
The foods are auspicious for good fortune. Hopefully, they will be bringing luck in the coming year. For Chinese New Year, dumplings (jiaozi 饺子) are popular and are shaped to resemble gold blocks to bring wealth for the year ahead.
Oranges are also on every New Year table since they’re supposed to bring wealth, luck and status. This is because the Mandarin words for citrus fruits sound similar to these prosperous words. For example, gold and orange sound alike, as do tangerine and luck.
Noodles have a long history in China, the world’s oldest known noodles were found there over 4,000 years ago. Noodles during Chinese New Year should be made as long as possible to bring long life. That’s why they are called Long Life Noodles (yi mien 伊面 ).
The Chinese New Year is based on the Lunar Calendar marked by 12 zodiac symbols, which are rotated on a 12-year cycle. This year is the Tiger’s turn, the black tiger to be precise. The Tiger is the third Zodiac in the calendar (年属虎本命年).
The tiger has been a prominent symbol in Chinese culture. It is known as the king of all beasts and is a symbol of strength, bravery and exorcising evils. People born during a Tiger year may live to seek adventure and have an insatiable thirst for knowledge. They also may be a little reckless and restless. Tigers have big energies and are fiercely independent, they are risk-takers!
Another custom is to wear brand new clothing to bring in the New Year, this is to start the year fresh and new! Most Chinese living outside of China they like to wear traditional clothing or red for luck. However, those living in mainland China especially in chic Shanghai, now dress their kids in the newest zodiac fashions from fashion designers around the world.
Balabala is China’s most established brand of clothes for youngsters. Every year they always make a special limited edition line featuring that year’s zodiac animal. Infusing current styles with traditional embellishments and collaborating with Western companies (Disney) is how they are modernizing Chinese New Year fashion!
If you were born in the Year of the Tiger, you might want to know what things may bring you luck……..
Lucky Things for Tigers
Lucky colours: Blue, Green
Lucky numbers: 1, 3, 7
Lucky flowers: Plum blossom
Lucky directions: North
Unlucky Things for Tigers
Unlucky colours: White
Unlucky numbers: 4, 9
Chinese Lunar New Year Editorial: Tiger Noodles Credits
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Chinese Lunar New Year Editorial Photography & Copy by Jane Ergils – All rights reserved.
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