Chinese New Year ? The Year Of The Rooster
Jan 09, 2017
You might not have noticed, but there are still some New Year’s celebrations to come this year. While we’ve put away the fireworks and retired the party poppers, for Chinese people all across the world the celebrations are just beginning. This year Chinese New Year is on the 27th of January, and with traditional celebrations lasting at least 2 weeks (so ending on February 2nd), this is the longest holiday in the Chinese calendar as we welcome the year of the Rooster.
What Does The Year Of The Rooster Mean?
The Rooster is the 10th animal in the 12 year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. So far the years of the Rooster have been 1921,1933,1945,1957,1969,1981,1993 and 2005. For people born in a Rooster year it is set to be an unlucky year for you – as Chinese tradition denotes that the year of your birth makes for an unlucky 12 months. There are also certain personality traits that the Chinese believe go with every zodiac sign. So for a Rooster, you would find:
‘People born in the Year of Rooster according to Chinese zodiac have many excellent characteristics, such as being honest, bright, communicative and ambitious with a good sense of timekeeping. Most of them are born pretty or handsome, and prefer to dress up. In daily life, they seldom rely on others. However, they might become enthusiastic about something quickly, but soon be passive.’
In Chinese culture the Rooster is the epitome of fidelity, honesty, hard work and punctuality. For ancestors who had no alarm clocks, the crowing of the Rooster was significant, as it awakened people from their sleep to start the working day. Roosters and chickens are also used to exorcize evil spirits in Chinese culture.
How Can I Celebrate Chinese New Year?
Traditionally, Chinese New Year is celebrated with the ringing of bells, lighting of fireworks and watching lion and dragon dances. People celebrating will dress from head to toe in brand new clothes (usually red to symbolise a new beginning and to ward off bad fortune) and exchange red envelopes of money to scare away evil spirts. The amount given as a gift must be an even number, as odd numbers are associated with funerals in Chinese tradition. Decorations are put up, parades of dancing and singing draw massive crowds and banners are hung everywhere. Similar to the Western New year, Chinese families will gather together for a large meal on New Year’s Eve, and fireworks will be set off at midnight to signal the end of the last year and the beginning of the next. Chinese tradition has started to evolve though, with red envelope apps now being launched so that people can exchange cyber money with those not so close to home.
So this year, why not get involved and throw your own Chinese New Year celebration? Dine on a selection of starters including spring rolls, satay, wontons and ribs, lay on a selection of mains from chicken to beef, pork to prawns or even vegetables, all cooked in traditional Chinese sauces and spices.