Welcome to the year of the Dog! Whether you celebrate Chinese New Year as part of your heritage or you just enjoy the tradition, we could all use a little luck as the lunar year kicks off. Accordingly, here are some ways to bring luck your way as the Chinese New Year officially starts on February 2016.
History Of The Holiday
Before you start ordering your dumplings and picking out your ensemble of new clothes in "lucky" colors, you might want to understand a little bit about the history of the occasion. It's sometimes called the Spring Festival and it used to serve as a bit of a break before the farmers started a new season.
And besides getting a well-deserved rest before the next season starts, the new year is time for making amends, reconciling with people, and re-establishing old ties. People also tend to use the holiday to clean house, update or upgrade anything that needs it, buy new clothes, and give gifts.
What Might Bring You Luck In 2018
It's considered good luck to start the new lunar year off with new clothes, new shoes, and more. So this week would be the time to get a haircut, update your everyday makeup, and pick up a new outfit, perhaps in some of lucky colors for the year of the Rooster (which would be green, purple, and red).
Speaking of wardrobe selections, it's always good to start the new year off on the right foot - and for the Chinese New year, that means wearing the color red in some way, shape, or form. Even you don't normally wear bold red outfits, it might be smart to start the new year in some red undies or socks. Or perhaps it's time to pick up that red lipstick or nail polish you've been eyeing!
Giving someone (or yourself, who are we kidding here) a bouquet of lucky flowers for the New Year is also felicitous. Roses and orhids herald positive things in the year of the Dog.
Eating Your Way To A Lucky New Year
Perhaps the best thing about celebrating Chinese New Year is the food! There are plenty of lucky treats to choose from, including good fortune fruits like oranges, pomelos, grapes, kumquats, and plums. For dinner consider serving a whole fish or chicken; and of course everyone's favorite dumplings should be on the menu.
The reason for the "luckiness" of these foods comes from the way their names are pronounced or their appearance - they sound similar to positive terms like wealth and prosperity, or they look similar to things like money and coins.
The Meaning Of The Red Envelopes
Finally, there are the red envelopes containing a few (or more) crisp new bills that are traditionally given to children from their parents and grandparents during the Chinese New Year, but the custom has grown over the years, with friends and colleagues gifting each other with the envelopes as well.
What's more, the significance is tied to the color of the envelope, not necessarily the amount of money inside. the red color symbolizes good luck and blessings for both the giver and the receiver, and serves as a warning to evil spirits.
And don't we all want more blessings and positive things in the new year? Best of luck to you in the year of the Dog!