Friday, 5 February 2016

Chinese New Year

Though the new year is already in full swing, we welcome the coming of Chinese New Year this Sunday, marking the beginning of a new calendar year base on the rotations of the moon. As such, Chinese New Year is on a different date each year as compared to the Gregorian calendar and tends to fall between mid January to the end of February. Seeing that all of us Meraki ladies are of Asian ethnicities, we thought it would be insightful to share about Chinese New Year and explain some of the popular traditions seen during this year.

There are many traditions that takes place during Chinese New Year and if you haven't already spotted some of the activities highlighted in our Meraki Monthly, it's quite a sight to see this festival be embraced by the greater community given the various events being hosted around the city.

Chinese New Year also corresponds with  the year of a certain animal. Traditionally, the animal was used to name each of the twelve years and carried with it distinct personality traits for the person born of that animal's year.

The Twelve Animals Of The Zodiac

During Chinese New Year, you will also see plenty of red and gold decorations, clothing, and gifts as they are popular in symbolizing wealth and prosperity. Distinct red envelopes are filled with money and given by those who are married to those unmarried in the family to wish them good luck whether in their education, work, or relationships. Nowadays, these envelopes can be filled with candy, chocolate and other small items to be handed out to spread this cultural spirit.

Traditional Red Envelopes 

The Chinese culture also loves to consume food that are homophones and/ or are symbolic of prosperity. For example, a seaweed like veggie dish is eaten because its name sounds like the word "wealth," the length of noodles represents longevity upon consumption, and dried fruit candy and seed trays literally translate to "togetherness tray" for its purpose of bringing families together in one place to celebrate.

Togetherness Tray

With Chinese roots, one of my favourite part of Chinese New Year is being able to have extended family all in one household as we eat, share, and celebrate. Since I am not married, I also love the abundance of red envelopes I am eligible for. In Asia, these family celebrations can last up to a month long and is sometimes the only and longest holiday given to employees! We hope you'll join in the festivities to celebrate the new year and the arrival of spring!

And last but not least,

"Gong Hay Fat Choy!"

 Images from top to bottom: 1, 2, 3

xo Sarah

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