The arrival of 2017 is followed by the Chinese Lunar New Year. Based on the Chinese lunar calendar, new year falls on January 28 this year. In Chinese astrology, each zodiac year is associated with an animal sign, plus an element – 2017 is the year of the rooster and the element is fire. According to ancient legends, the rooster is proud and confident, hardworking and punctual. Fire is the element associated with brilliance, warmth, passion and spark. So a brilliant and enthusiastic rooster, combined with the salient characteristics of fire, this is a year of results and achievements. This year we can fulfill our dreams.
It’s a custom that before the new year we will clean the house thoroughly to sweep away the old and welcome the good and the prosperous. The entire family will enjoy a big dinner and stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve to watch over the arrival of the new year. Everyone will try their best to go home for New Year’s Eve to pay respects to their parents and elders. New year is a time for family reunion. We will visit family and friends to wish them good fortune and prosperity. So sometimes we will meet those relatives who live far away only once a year during the new year.
My mom would give me the first red envelope that we call lucky money. At the same time, she would also give her blessing to me for the coming year – top of the class at school, a job promotion, a huge pay rise, getting married, lots of kids … Although I kept disappointing her, she would continue to wish me good luck every year. Now she’s no longer with us and the feeling of Chinese New Year is a bit different. Like missing a piece of puzzle. But mom, those happy moments that we’ve spent together really make me smile. If I can turn back time, I’ll be more earnest when I’m talking to you rather than trying to be funny. I’ll hug you more. My best luck in life is that I’m your son.
There are also things that we don’t do in the Chinese New Year. Don’t use words with negative meanings, like breaking, death, sickness, pain, losing and poverty. Don’t break anything, as it may result in losses or family rifts. Don’t give gifts such as clocks, scissors, pears, umbrellas, shoes, mirrors or cut flowers – they can all bring bad luck. Don’t take medicine or go to hospital, unless you’re seriously ill, or you’ll suffer from illness all year. They are all old sayings and are shared as interesting facts here. In the end, may the Year of Rooster bring you joy, love and peace.