Monday, January 23, 2012

Gung Hay Fat Choy!!


as a Chinese, i'd like to formally wish you all a happy lunar new year!

this year, unfortunately, my family isn't celebrating the new year due to my grandpa's passing. while Chinese New Year is the biggest holiday for the Chinese, we posess a very superstitious culture as well. to be quite honest i'm not sure whether the idea of not celebrating anything for 60 (i think that's right, but i'm not 100% confident) days is a Chinese thing or a Buddhist thing, but nonetheless my family is honoring that tradition.

now if we were going to celebrate this year, we'd be gathering at somebody's house. and in my family traditionally you would:
--not wash your hair on New Year's day because you've then washed away your good luck.
--wear red to represent good luck
--bring oranges or tangerines (preferably with the leaves still attached) for the host and each family attending because they represent good health, longevity and wealth.
--if married, hand out red envelopes to those in the family who aren't yet married. red represents good luck and happiness as well as helps to ward off evil spirits. often the envelopes have gold splattered all over them as well to represent prosperity.
--make sure the money in the red envelopes are new bills and are in the amount of an even number. odd numbers are bad luck. oh, and do NOT give money in the amount of 4 because in Chinese, the number four sounds like "death." the number 8 is particularly good because it sounds like "fortune."
--give two red envelopes because, again, even numbers are favorable.
--if you're receiving the envelopes, collect it with both hands and don't forget to say thank you.
--eat a vegetarian dish called Buddha's Delight or jai. it contains a fungus pronounced "fat choy." i mean, how could you not eat something that sounds exactly like the second half of "gung hay fat choy?" it looks gross and hairlike but is something that i actually enjoy.
--say "Gung Hay Fat Choy" or "Sun Nein Fai Lock" approximately one million times throughout the day.

last year, i listed some of the things i liked about being Chinese. but there are oh so many other aspects of being Chinese that i enjoy, one of them being included in the stereotype that we are smart and are good with money. yay, Chinese!!

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