Welcome to ShekouDaily’s first Weekend NewsVideo of 2017! Now that we’re back from the New Year Holiday it’s time to start preparing for the next one!
2017 is the year of the Fire Rooster, or Red Rooster, which is expected to herald in an enterprising and fruitful year where “things get done.” Some of you may be thinking this refers to Donald Trump as he kind of looks like a red cock; however, he’s actually born in the year of the dog so next year is his year. Still, we can expect 2017 to be an energetic and exciting year to say the least.
With the Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year, just three weeks away it’s time to start preparing to ensure that 2017 is a much better year than 2016. Here are a few tips to get us started.
Click play on the video below or scroll down for the complete newsletter with addresses, phone numbers and more… (More on the Chinese New Year will continue to be added in the coming weeks. Visit ShekouDaily.com/cny for up-to-date information.)
Special thanks to Caisa for her help in producing these weekend NewsVideos.
From January 12th to the 26th millions of people will be traveling home, cleaning and shopping. Don’t wait til it’s too late to do this stuff unless you like being stuck in massive crowds.
Train tickets to many popular destinations are already sold out for these dates so if you expect to travel, it may be best to fly. I personally prefer just hanging out here in Shekou during the holiday as it’s really a great relaxing and quiet time here.
Any cutting during the Chinese New year is considered unlucky, so hair and fingernails should be trimmed in advance that’s why I’m here now.
Many people also buy new clothes, preferably red, during this time. If red just isn’t your color, wearing red underwear or a red bracelet is also common.
This is also the time to start cleaning house. Clear out all those drawers, broken items, dead plants, and all that clutter to make room for better things. Finish all of your cleaning before the holiday arrives to get rid of all the bad luck gathered in 2016 as sweeping the house during Chinese New Year is considered unlucky. They say you actually sweep away the new, incoming good luck!
Another tradition is to cover your home with good luck decorations including banners with New Year messages. Red and Gold are lucky colors, symbolizing vitality of life, happiness, wealth and prosperity. These decorations will be sold all over the place in coming days or you can make your own.
On New Year’s Day, families come together to celebrate with an important feast. Food is prepared long ahead of time and all knives are put away as using a knife during the first days of the New Year “cuts off” all the good luck for the coming year.
Here’s a list of what foods are typically eaten during Chinese New Year and what they represent:
Plants are also supposed to bring luck so many people buy them leading up to the holiday. If you’re looking for some of the traditionally “lucky plants”, the most popular are: orange trees, mandarin or kumquat trees, lucky bamboo, branches of cherry blossoms, and stalks of pussy willows.
If you’re planning to visit other people’s homes, don’t show up empty handed. Alcohol, tea, fruit, flowers, and sweets are great gifts for party hosts. If you choose to give fruit, give oranges. Avoid giving pears and white flowers.
Don’t forget to prepare plenty of hongbao, or red envelopes. Typically, these are given by relatives, close friends and neighbors to unmarried children. Whether you should give and how much really depends on your personal relationship with them. They’re treated very much like Christmas presents. Red envelopes are also given by companies to their employees as a year-end bonus and to customers to thank them for their business.
Children wanting a hongbao will usually say: “Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái, Hóng Bāo Ná Lái!!!”, meaning “Best wishes for the New Year, may I have my Red Envelope please?” Watch out with the phrase Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái. When you say this some people may expect a red envelope from you. If you want to give a cost-free new year’s greeting than Xi Nian Kuai Le (meaning Happy New Year) is safer.
When giving red envelopes, avoid any amounts with a “4”, this is the “bad luck” number in China. “8” is a lucky number. New, crispy and shiny bills are always best.