Welcome to the year of the Ox, a symbol of agriculture and positive characteristics in Eastern culture that is celebrated every 12 years. Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival has more than 4,000 years of history and is the longest holiday of the year. Today, Chinese New Year is a holiday that is all about spending time with family and sharing blessings and abundance with loved ones. Moreover, it is a time to take your mind off of work, exchange red envelopes, and eat plenty of delicious foods. With so many traditions and festivities, here is a list that we have compiled to get you started on a year of good fortune.
Spring Rolls and Dumplings
Occasionally found in the everyday Chinese take-out order, spring rolls and dumplings are actually a significant part of Chinese New Year as they are symbols of wishes for prosperity, happiness and auspiciousness. Historically, the Spring Platter was an arrangement of spring rolls and vegetables that would be given out by emperors said to be worth thousands while dumplings resemble silver ingots.
As with every holiday, there are greetings associated with celebrating and the same can be said for Chinese New Year. The most popular greeting you will often hear is “gong xie fa cai”, which is the Mandarin pronunciation for “wishing you to be prosperous in the coming year”. Feel free to wish your loved ones good luck and get to hopefully receive some of that energy back as well.
Red pocket, red envelope, red packet?
Regardless of what you might call it, red pockets are great because they contain money! By giving out red pockets, you are hoping to pass on a year of good fortune and blessings. In historical times, red pockets took on the form of coins tied with red string engraved with phrases to ward off evil spirits. As time progressed, this eventually transitioned to red envelopes that we have learned to know and love today. The most important aspect of giving red pockets is to be genuine and sincere as this custom has evolved but persisted after thousands of years.