The 28th of January 2017, marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year – with the traditional celebrations beginning on the 27th of January (New Year’s Eve).
Unlike the Western equivalent which is based on the start of the Gregorian calendar, the Chinese New Year commences when the first new moon appears and the celebrations continue for a full fifteen days, until the first full moon.
Also known as the Spring Festival, the Chinese New Year symbolises the start of a new life and spiritual renewal, and this year is the Year of the Rooster.
If you were born after the first new moon in 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005 or 2017, then your Chinese Zodiac symbol is the Rooster. Those born under this sign are said to be highly motivated, hardworking and punctual, although the year of the Rooster is also associated with misfortune or bad luck.
However, the evil spirits that bring this misfortune can be warded off by means of lucky days, numbers, charms, colours and flowers.
The Chinese Zodiac follows a 12-year cycle, with each year assigned a particular animal. In addition to the Rooster, there are 11 more animal signs and these are the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Money, Dog and Pig.
How to Celebrate the Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year is traditionally celebrated with the giving of gifts, including “lucky” money for children, which is given in red envelopes, and family get togethers and reunion dinners. The ringing of bells and the lighting of firecrackers are used to denote the end of the previous year and the beginning of the next. Exciting lion and dragon dances are also performed in public and watched by families and friends as part of the many street carnivals and festivals that are enjoyed each year by those celebrating the Chinese New Year all over the world.
This year, people celebrating the Year of the Rooster will also prepare for the New Year by cleaning out their homes and putting up new decorations such as red paper cut outs, special paintings and Rooster themed banners. Food is another important part of the celebrations with traditional New Year recipes such as Shredded Pork dishes, Classic Pot Roasts and Fish – which symbolises prosperity wealth. Other foods that are eaten at this time of year include Chinese Dumplings and Spring Rolls, which symbolise wealth, Sweet Rice Balls (togetherness and family), Glutinous Rice Cakes (increased income / promotion) and Longevity Noodles (happiness and long life).
If you are preparing food for the celebrations this year then our colour-coded polyethylene cutting boards and wooden chopping blocks are quite simply perfect for the occasion. Whether you are looking to cut, slice or dice meat, poultry and vegetables using separate surfaces for food hygiene purposes, or you are looking for a convenient method of serving and sharing individual food types amongst family and friends, Row & Sons can supply everything you need to make your Chinese New Year reunion meal an absolute success!