Beloved Flower Lover,
Chinese New Year 2014: Chinese New Year, is also know as the Lunar New Year.
The 15-day festival, starts on January 31 this year. It starts with the first new moon of each calendar year and ends on the full moon.
Homes are cleaned top to bottom before the beginning of the new year, and all cleaning equipment is put away before New Year’s Eve because it’s believed that good fortune may be swept away if cleaning is done on New Year’s Day.
Before New Year’s Day, homes are decorated with trays of oranges and tangerines (which are also brought by visitors during the holiday), a sweets and candy tray with eight kinds of dried sweet fruits, and live plants and vases of fresh flowers. Desires for the new year are written on red paper.
There is a focus on ancestors and family members who have passed during the festival. On New Year’s Eve, a dinner for ancestors is arranged at the family banquet table, so that all family members, deceased and living, can ring in the new year with a communal feast (called weilu),
On the second day, the Chinese pray to both their ancestors and to all of the gods.
Many people abstain from meat on the first day, as that is believed to bring good luck for the year. Instead they eat vegetarian dish called jai, which contains ingredients like lotus seed (signifying having many male children), dried bean curd (representing wealth and happiness) and bamboo shoots. Fresh tofu is not included, as the white colour is considered bad luck and representative of death and misfortune.
Red is a key colour for New Year’s celebrations, as it symbolizes a bright and happy future. People wear red during this period. Children, unmarried friends, and close relatives are given little red envelopes (lai see) with money inside for good luck.
2014 marks the beginning of the Year of the Horse: this animal signifies surprises in adventure and romance and people born during this year are believed to be good communicators, kind, talkative, independent, and impatient.
We give thanks for life and being able to share peace and joy where ever you, doing what ever you are doing, being just as you are right now.