Chinese New Year Tradition- 5 Things To Do

 

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Red packets for kids and unmarried adults by peachpurple
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Red decorations for fortune by peachpurple

 

Chinese New Year is one of the most celebrated festival among the Chinese community in the world.

 

It is also known as Spring Festival where the spring season enters into the new year with warm weather where everyone started to prepare for the upcoming festival.

In order to prepare welcoming Chinese New Year, our family members are always busy at least 1  month prior with shopping for items, food, cleaning and decorating our home with lucky charms.

 

These are the 5 things that we had to do in order to welcome Chinese New Year with auspicious wealth and health.

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Cleaning up with a pail of water by peachpurple
  1. Spring Cleaning
  • Chinese New Year starts on Feb 8th this year (the first lunar month of the Chinese Calendar, I don’t know anything about this!) and ends on the 15th day of the month which is known as “Chap Goh Meh”
  • It is compulsory to clean every corner of the house in order to sweep or wash away all the back luck from last year so that we could welcome “good luck” into out home.
  • Hence, we had to discard broken utensils,hardware items, torn clothes and under garments, replace dead plants with new bright plants, cleaning the windows, changing the curtains, bedsheets, sweeping and moping the floors for every bedrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen and even the toilets.
  • This is the time of the year where kids and teenagers became useful helpers around the household.
  • However, nobody is suppose to sweep the floor and not allowed to wash any laundry on Chinese New Year Eve and the next 3 days.
  • It is believed that the Fortune of God will be coming to our home on those days. So, don’t sweep away your luck!
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money by peachpurple

2) Pay Off Your Debts

  • According to Chinese beliefs, especially business men and employers, it is compulsory to settle company or personal debts which includes giving out salaries to employees and “Red Packets” to welcome good luck to their business. I always looked forward to this moment of the year!
  • In order to start the New Year, one has to have a “clean record” as debts are considered as bad luck. No debts for me!
  • Do not bear grudges with friends, family members and clients. This is the best time to shake hands, forgive and forget about the past. Psst!Just for this festival!
  • Most business related people would distribute boxes of oranges to clients because Mandarin oranges symbolize “gold ingots“. That means money and luck.
  • It is considered uncultured to receive and not give back Mandarin oranges. As if you are taking another person luck and wealth. My mom told me so!

 

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New Clothes in shopping malls by peachpurple

3) Buy New Clothes

  • I love shopping trips! Shopping for brand new clothes, under garments and shoes for the whole family.
  • Try to buy red , orange or yellow color clothes which symbolize gold and luck.
  • All shopping malls would offer Big discounts, free vouchers and free gifts to attract customers to purchase more.
  • Spending money with your salary and bonus always ends up here. Sigh!

 

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New hair cut by peachpurple

4) A New Hair Cut

  • This is the time where barber shops and hair dresser saloons are busy snipping off many heads.
  • Men, boys, women and girls patronize these places to give themselves a new hair cut which symbolize a new you, new life to welcome the New Year.
  • In addition, you have to pay a little more as the price hike up too. Daddy always complains that!
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Free Ang Pows by peachpurple

5) New Bank Notes

  • Local banks will be stocking up new currency notes for bank savers to exchange. For example; if you need $5 , $10, $50 bank notes ( money ), you are required to queue up at the special lanes, list out the amount and quantity you requested.

$5 x 100 pcs = prepare $500 in advance

No extra fees for this service on all banks. The biggest problem are: no parking space, long queues and no more stock of new bank notes. That is where customers temper flares up.

Hence, I always look out for those unpopular banks where the number of customers are low. Furthermore, I can get Ang Pow packets for FREE!!

 

Wishing all friends a Happy Chinese New Year!!

Gong Xi Fa Cai!!

Copyright all rights reserved by peachpurple

photos by peachpurple

 

 

Traditional Chinese Birthday : Red Eggs and Longevity Noodles

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In the olden days, Chinese families celebrate birthday without birthday cakes nor candles.

Every family of different religion has a traditional way to celebrate one’s birthday in a unique practice.

In my family, my dad always celebrates birthday in a Chinese traditional ways that my grandmother had taught him.

 

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Birthday Food

  • Boil 2 hard boil eggs.
  • Simply dye the eggs into a bowl of red food coloring
  • Whip up a bowl of noodles or misua soup
  •  Red coloring as red powder mixed with 1/3 bowl of water.
  • Now, you can buy a small bottle of red food coloring to mix in jellies, beverages or cookies.
  1. Reasons for making Red Eggs

According to Chinese beliefs,

  • An egg is a symbol of birth.
  • 2 eggs comes in a pair which is even number.
  • That is considered a good luck.
  • Red is the auspicious color for every Chinese festivals on food or things.
  • Red symbolize good luck and fortune.
  • Red also signifies happiness as in Red packets (Ang Pow) and Fire crackers.
  • thread noodle.
  • My dad says that birthday person has to crack the egg shells and eat up both red eggs to be in luck.

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2) Reasons for whipping up noodles

  • Noodles comes in long strands.
  • No breaks in the strands signify longevity.
  • Misua is also known as mian xian, thin white fragile thread noodles made from flour.
  • Noodles symbolize longevity, the person who makes the noodle soup wishes the birthday person to have a long life until he/she reaches the age of 100 or more.
  • Since misua noodles are white in color, the birthday person who eats the noodle soup will live at a very long age with white hairs too.
  • I love my dad’s special recipe;  a bowl of Chicken flavored Misua Soup with Mustard Greens and Minced meat.

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3) Red Packets ( Ang Pow)

This is an optional practice.

The older folks in the household, be it the parents, married siblings or grandparents, would give the birthday person an Ang Pow which is the red packet as a symbol of fortune and wealth. Of course, money is wealth!

Red packets are only given to single, bachelor or spinster birthday person.

Nowadays, Red Packets are also given to older folk in the family who is celebrating his/her birthday in order to show the folk respect, filial and a token of appreciation.

Money is inserted into the Ang Pow which is in even numbers.

For example: $20, $28 $50, $88,  $100

8 symbolize luck while zeros symbolize even, unity or a new life.

If my dad has extra pocket money, he would give me $28 Red Packet on my birthday.

Although traditional Chinese birthday food are plain and boring, these food brought a lot of sweet memories as I grew older.

Question: How do you celebrate your birthday in traditional way?

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photos: peachpurple

 

 

 

4 Tips To make Your New Year Resolution Works

Every end of the year most of us would list down our New Year

Resolution for a new year ahead of us, a fresh start of life , full of

hopes to change our bad habits, set our new goals, earn more money,

save money and to excel well in our studies.

However, do you find that these new changes are fading faster 

than you expected?

You could not keep up with your new expectations and kept coaxing

yourself, “Ah…maybe next time I will do it / will not do it..”.

Well, here are 4 easy tips how you can stick to your New Year

Resolutions without much pressure.

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( 1 ) One at a time- Do not try to do everything at once.

  • You know that you are unable to accomplish those goals at once.
  • Try to completing one task at a time.
  • Once you have succeeded, go for the 2nd task.

 

( 2 ) List out your resolution precisely-

  • Let us presume that your New Year Resolution is to reduce stress.
  • You should list it out precisely how to reduce it,

for example; sign up for a yoga class, morning walk, meditation,

just to name a few.

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( 3 ) Plan ahead of time-

  • Breakdown your resolution , make your plans ahead of time.
  • If you plan for a vacation to relax and unwind your stress, you should activate a plan like this;

i) call up travel agency to find out suitable country of vacation
ii)any promotion

iii) what activities will be conducted, etc.

If you plan to earn more money, look out for

i) part-time job online

ii) read reviews for money making websites which are legit

iii) learn tips to save money when shopping, etc

 

( 4 ) Write down your New Year Resolutions-

  1. Take an A4 paper, use a black marker and list down your resolutions in clear handwriting, obvious to read, no scribbling.
  2. Use red marker if it is crucial or important.
  3. Then stick it to the fridge door, next to your timetable, your wardrobe where you can see it daily.
  4. It is the best way to remind you of the changes.
  5. Guarantee to work.

copyright all rights reserved by peachpurple

drawings by peachpurple

fireworks by pixabay