Gong Hay Fat Choy!

Translation:  “Wishing you happiness and prosperity!”

Today is Chinese New Year, year of the horse! I’ve always celebrated Chinese New Year with my family. Most of you recognize that it’s Chinese New Year because of the red envelopes filled with money! That’s definitely a big plus to celebrating, but I’m married now. Typically you receive money when you’re single. I now have to give out envelopes! Not as fun on the other side… stay single! J/K

Envelops
I got gold ones this year!

But did you know there are other ways  of celebrating too? More “behind the scene” type things. Growing up, there are a few specific things I remember my parents doing to prepare for the New Year.

1. You must clean the house on the eve of New Year. Why? Because you are not allowed to clean on New Year’s day. Cleaning symbolizes getting rid of all the bad luck and making room for the good. No cleaning on the first day of the year so that the newly arrived good luck cannot be swept away. I vacuumed on Wednesday so that counts right? Plus I did laundry today!

Laundry

2. You buy groceries to have in your house overnight for various reasons. This year I purchased four items (thanks for the advice mom!) – cake and/or rice cake, fish, green onion, and gai lan (veggies).

Cake
Cake/nian gao is a homonym for “higher year.” Hope MG gets a promotion soon *fingers crossed with my cake*

I bought sticky rice cake, and I also baked a Japanese cheesecake. Have you had a Japanese cheesecake before? It’s so delicious and fluffy! Recipe to come soon.

Fish
“Let there be fish every year.” Fish is a homonym for surplus.

Yup, that’s Chubs. He licked my fish a few times… Hope that’s okay in Chinese standards…

Veggies
Onions are a homonym for smartness, and gai lan is to do away with laziness.

Look at all my Chinese New Year treasures! I’m going to make a delicious meal tonight!

Items

These are just a few things that I’ve started to carry over after I got married. Does your family have annual traditions? Will you share those traditions with your kids? Do share!

Happy Chinese New Year to everyone reading!
Jay