恭禧發財! Happy Chinese New Year!
Wow. I love my Holidays. This week was chock full of them huh? All separated by a day and requiring a dress code! Valentines Day (wear Red and hearts on sleeve), President’s Day (wear Red, White and Blue), Mardi Gras (wear Beads), Ash Wednesday (wear Ash) and Chinese New Year! (Wear Red!!!)
Been wearing Red a lot lately – which is hardly a stretch for me, but getting ready to don my new red threads for a special occasion.
By the way, no matter the time of the year it seems I’m always putting up and decorating trees. 4 out of 5 times it’s a Christmas tree, but once a year I decorate my home with a plum blossom tree.
Yes Virginia, it’s Chinese New Year.
There are undeniable similarities in Chinese New Year and Christmas. For one, the colors. Red, green, gold and yellow decorations fill my entire home during this season, as it just had for Christmas. Just different types.
There are also invisible but expected guests that come to your home. During Christmas we wait for Santa or Father Christmas, but for Chinese New Year, we usher in the Kitchen Gods who much like Santa will inspect your world and leave you gifts. We all know the drill about Santa. Santa evaluates if you’re naughty or nice, visits your house, eats your cookies and hopefully leaves you or someone you love an XBOX.
Just like Santa, people who celebrate Chinese New Year leave the Kitchen Gods sweets, candies, oranges to keep him snacking so he doesn’t utter bad words about you when he reports on the good or bad state of your home back to the other Gods. In exchange he will leave you gifts of luck, prosperity and good health.
Chinese New Year is also a big holiday based on reuniting with family. In China, people migrate back to their family homes and have an astounding 2 weeks off, Christmas has a similar celebration period, some celebrating until 3 Kings Day, 12 days after Christmas.
As I’ve embarked on my Christmas career, I literally stay in the Christmas season all year round. My Chinese New Year rituals and preparations have also kicked it up a notch. It takes a couple weeks for me to do a thorough spring cleaning, making sure not a speck of dust is left when Chinese New Year arrives. I decorate my home with plum blossom trees and fresh flowers, hang red and gold decorations and Chinese lucky couplets all over my home. I get a new haircut and new lucky red clothing which isn’t hard for me because I’m expert at rocking new red threads! It’s a ritual that I grew up with being half Chinese, and has stuck with me since. It makes sense as I am a believer in beliefs and believing. 😉
Through the years it has also been my quiet way to usher in my new Christmas season. It’s my time to hope the Kitchen God blesses my new year with luck, prosperity and health of my family, Merry Bright and my music.