January 23, 2012 is Chinese New Year’s day. Needless to say, Chinese New Year is the most important holiday to Chinese people, also known as Spring Festival. Dragon is in the fifth position in Chinese Zodiac, and actually the only fictional animal. Chinese people regard the dragon highly, and call themselves the descendants of the dragon.
On New Year’s Eve, families get together to have a big dinner. Popular dishes include whole fish, sausages, Chinese bacon, dumplings, spring rolls, and many many more. Different regions have different customs. In south, we start New Year’s day with glutinous rice balls, the roundness of which symbolizes family reunion. Red envelops (‘hong bao’) with money in are given to kids and elders, which show love and are supposed to bring good luck to the givers. Yes, giving brings you good luck. The celebration lasts 2 weeks and concludes with Lantern Festival, on the fifteenth of the month. During holidays, people also visit relatives and friends.
Happy Chinese New Year! Enjoy good Chinese food!