Chinese New Year- Let’s Celebrate Tradition

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@TheYLife takes this week to honor Spring Festival celebratory excitement surrounding the Chinese New Year…  Friday January 31 of 2014 will mark the first day of the Chinese calendar, also known as the year of the ‘Horse’, which is being greatly anticipated by more than 1 Billion people around the globe.

Tradition calls for honoring ancestors and deities during the new calling of the ‘Lunar Calendar’, but the customs and traditions that fall in line with the New Year celebrations vary amongst the regional customs. Recognized as a public holiday in many countries, some celebrate with an annual reunion dinner on New Years Eve, while most families do extensive cleansing of their home to clear away ill-fortune and allow room for fresh new luck to enter the homestead. Families and friends share wealth in paper envelopes, gifting cakes, chocolate & fruits… temples and homes are lit with twinkle lights, firecrackers sparkle through the crisp evening mist and the tale of Nian, the mythical beast, is ever present during the Holiday.

You see, as Nian makes his way through villages eating livestock, villagers, crops and children- action must be taken protect themselves and their families, so ancient tales tell how the villagers would place food at their doorstep at the beginning of every year, to encourage Nian to be fulfilled with their treats and not their people. But then one day Nian was frightened by a child clothes in red, so the villagers began to adorn doors and windows with red paper- cut outs (representing ‘Health’, ‘Wealth’ & ‘Good Fortune’), which in turn would deter the evil intentions that emanated from Nian.

The lunisolar calendar has a theme where every twelve years the Chinese animal zodiac is chosen to represent that years meaning: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. 馬 Mǎ or Horse in the earthly wood branch of 午 Wǔ marked 2002, 2014 and will again mark 2026. As 2014 gallops into our lives, it’s slated to come bursting with adventure; in fact, it would be an excellent year to travel say Chinese analysts, since a ‘Horse’ year is considered a fortune filled time to discover the unexpected.

And if you are wondering where you can take part in the exciting, vibrant traditional dancing lions and colorful dragon fanfare common during Chinese New Year, meant to scare away the evil spirits, make sure to call your favorite Cantonese or Chinese hot spot for their Celebration schedule. It is believed that the loud drum beats and sound cymbals evict bad spirits, this being the reason Lion dances have become such a popular signs of celebration from Hong Kong to the Americas, so make sure to reserve a table for your family to celebrate in traditional style… If you are in Miami New Years Eve can be celebrated at Tropical Chinese or New Years Day at the Canton restaurant chain!