Chinese New Year is probably one of my favorite times of the year. Along with New Year’s Day and Christmas. Maybe I really like winter holidays? (Valentine’s Day is only exciting if someone gives me nice chocolates, though.)
Tomorrow begins year 4711 on the Chinese Calendar, the Year of the Snake. As always, Hong Kong will have extravagant parades, and I’ll dream of the day I’m in Hong Kong, watching as a large, colorful dragon passes by me, the day I’m cheering along with the other millions who come out to see the parade.
Today isn’t that day though. Today, I am here. I have to make the most of what I have, since after all, I have to stay present. And I have to prepare for Chinese New Year!
I found this article on About.com’s Chinese Culture site, detailing the four things to do to prepare for Chinese New Year.
- Go to the fortune teller.
- Get a haircut.
- Clean the house.
- Go shopping.
Go to the fortune teller.
Okay, so maybe I’m not going to an actual fortune teller. Okay, fine. I’m not going to get my fortune at all. I don’t put much stock—rather, I put no stock—in fortune telling or stuff like that. What I did do, is get fortune cookies!
You are a practical person with your feet on the ground.
Get a haircut.
Yes, I got a haircut. Last week, though! Sharp objects bring bad luck, since their sharp points cut out your good luck! Getting a haircut before Chinese New Year is strongly recommended, since cutting your hair during Chinese New Year would chop out the good luck! (No one wants that!)
Clean the house.
Fun fact: New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year’s Eve are the only days of the year, without fail, that I’ll voluntarily clean my room. And I’ll actually try to clean it well.
Ever since I was little, I always remember my mom cleaning for the new year. The idea is that you enter the new year—in this case, the Year of the Snake—with a clean home to invite good luck. Not only that, but you’re not supposed to clean your home on the first day of Chinese New Year, either! Why? Because you’ll sweep all of your good luck away! Interesting, isn’t it?
I spent all of New Year’s Eve in 2012 cleaning my room. More accurately, I spent most of my day cleaning with some “breaks” in between… like watching pockets of the New Year’s Eve show (such as Psy’s Gangnam Style performance).
According to the website, you need to buy food, gifts, new clothes, and red envelopes for friends and family. I’ve been spending a lot of time at one of the local Asian supermarkets—going to Asian supermarkets are on my list of favorite things—buying decorations and candies.
And then there’s always the matter of buying gifts
for myself. I haven’t talked about my personal addiction to Amazon, but that’s for a different time.
Some of the best foods to eat are dumplings, egg rolls, and noodles (don’t bite them!), and every year, we always celebrate with noodles!
Tomorrow, I’ll be celebrating the beginning of Chinese New Year alongside the second anniversary of Kuya’s Notebook. I didn’t even think I’d make it this far! Here’s to a good Year of the Snake!
How do you prepare for Chinese New Year? Go ahead and share in the comments below!