CHINESE NEW YEAR ( Year of the Rabbit)
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The 15-Day Celebration of the Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year starts with the New Moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later--the 15-Day Celebration of the Chinese New Year.
Day 1: The Welcoming of the Gods of the Heavens & Earth - On the first day, many people do not consume meat. It is believed that depriving oneself of meat on this day will ensure and long and happy life.
Day 2: On the second day, Chinese pray to their ancestors and their gods. Dogs are pampered on this day and are fed very well. It is believed that the second day is the birthday of all dogs.
Day 3 & Day 4: On the third and fourth day, son-in-laws pay their respects to their parents-in-law.
Day 5: Po Woo - On the fifth day people welcome the God of Wealth. People stay home with no visits from family or friends; doing so will bring both parties bad luck.
Day 6 - 10: People freely visit friends and family and nd go to temple to pray for good fortune and their health.
Day 7: On the seventh day, farmers display their produce and make a drink from seven types of vegetables to be drunken in celebration. This day is also considered the birthday of human beings. Typically, noodles are eaten to promote longevity and raw fish for success.
Day 8: Fujian people celebrate at family reunions. At midnight, they pray to Tian Gong (God of Heaven).
Day 9: Offerings are made to the Jade Emperor.
Day 10 - 12: People are encouraged to invite family and friends for dinner.
Day 13: Rice congee and mustard greens to be consumed to cleanse the system from last evening's meal.
Day 14: Preparation begins for celebration of the Lantern Festival on the fifteenth day.
Day 15: The Lantern Festival is held during the evening hours.
Traditional Foods for the Chinese New Year
Traditional Chinese New Year foods include:
- Chicken (head, feet and tail to represent completeness)
- Noodles (uncut)
- Nian Gao
- Rice Pudding
- Zong Gi
- Wheat Bread
- Meat Dumplings
Family members who are not able to share the Chinese New Year with one another may find that a simple phone call is a good substitute. Calling loved ones allows the sharing of the new year spirit and reflections upon times past.