Gong Hey Fat Choy!
Happy New Year! Today is the Chinese New Year's Eve, we are moving into the year of the Ram/Sheep and out of the year of the Horse. I hope that we are all staying warm this week and I wanted to talk a little about this very fun and family oriented holiday in Asia. For most of us, its a little unusual that there could be different new year celebrations. The reason Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year is more of a floating/moving holiday is it is based on the lunar cycle and not the revolution of the Earth around the sun.
Explore some Chinese New Year Traditions!
Luck Money or Hong Bao
It is customary for family members (parents and grandparents) to give unmarried children "lucky money". Lucky money is a specific amount of money in an even number amount, even numbers are lucky. It is given in a red envelope because red is a lucky color. Traditionally, white is the color used for funerals and is associated with death. Also on the red envelopes are symbols associated with luck, wealth and prosperity.
Click Here for the Wikipedia source.
Tangerines and Oranges
Oranges are also eaten and given to family and friends. Because of their color, oranges and tangerines symbolize gold. Also, in Chinese, Tangerines sounds like "luck" and Orange sounds like "wealth". Giving someone one of these awesome fruits, you are wishing them wealth and prosperity for the next year.
Click here for the source page.
Lion Dancing is also customary to see during New Year Celebrations. Performers or troupe are from local Kung Fu Schools. As in the picture above, there is drums, cymbals, and at least 2 performers in the Lion. Sometimes there is a completion between kung fu school to see who has the best moves and who can overcome the hardest obstacles. During the dance, the lion(s) try to find or reach a lettuce bunch, this is were money is put. Once the lettuce is in the mouth of the lion, the money is taken out and the lettuce spit out, before another lion tries to go for the money...
Usually, based on the color of the lion, one could infer the style of Kung Fu of the School. The color of the beard of the lion could tell you the age of the teacher - black for a younger school/teacher, white for a well established/"experienced" teacher. I added a clip below to watch. If you start at the 3 min mark, the dancing is in full swing.
Have Happy New Year!
Most posts are from Adam on the behalf of Victory Defense Systems. We try to inspire, motivate, educate and have a good laugh with the subjects of Kung Fu, Self Defense, Wellness and Fitness! Enjoy and have a great day!