Say goodbye to the Year of the Rooster and welcome the Year of the Dog!
Over the past 15 days, millions of people all over the globe have been celebrating the Chinese New Year. Also known as the Spring Festival, it is considered one of the most important holidays across Asia.
Here are some fun facts to help you prep for a prosperous year ahead:
New moon, new beginnings
Tied to the Chinese lunar calendar, the Chinese New Year typically begins with the new moon that occurs at the end of January or February depending on the year. With the new moon, it’s the perfect time to reflect on our blessings and try new things or make a change in our lives.
What the Year of the Dog will bring
Each year of the Chinese calendar is defined by one of 12 zodiac animals. For this year, it’s the dog.
The dog's traits – loyal, sincere, independent, and clever plus the growth denoted by the Earth element means this year is a secure, profitable, and rewarding year. It's a year of achieving things, of blossoming, and thriving. Hence, this year is ideal for longstanding projects that require grit and persistence.
The Year of the Dog will also bring a sense of harmony, goodwill, unity, and peace, a different kind of energy that follows the chaotic Year of the Rooster.
During this time, home and family becomes the main focus. Almost like an early spring cleaning, the house is thoroughly swept, mopped and dusted to get rid of the "huiqi" or bad luck and energy that might have collected during the previous year.
Scrolls printed with lucky messages, ornaments and medallions are hung to bring good luck and ward off the evil spirits. Red lanterns can also be seen hanging along the streets. Red is the main color of the festival as it symbolizes prosperity and success.
Food is a central part of the celebration. Usually, on New Year's Eve, the extended family and friends would join around the table for a meal that typically involves noodles, spring rolls, dumplings, glutinous rice cakes, and fish. All these foods symbolize happiness, wealth, longevity, abundance, and prosperity.
Traditions and celebrations may vary greatly across the country but if there's one thing common during this celebration, it's the use of firecrackers.
It has been part of the Chinese New Year celebration. Firecrackers are set off from the first minute of the new year, with the belief that its lights and sounds can ward off the evil spirits.
New year gifts
Ritual sacrifices are part of the celebration. Families offer food and paper icons to the gods and the ancestors. It's also common for red envelopes with money in it to be hand out. Elders give them to their children while some employers give them to their employees, believing it can bring good luck.
Mandarin oranges, which are the traditional symbols of abundance and good fortune, are also handed out as gifts to family and friends. This fruit can also be seen as part of the Chinese New Year decoration (having mandarin oranges around are believed to bring riches in one's life).
How to start the year off right
According to tradition, how we start the year will determine what the year will bring. That’s why there is a focus on feasting with family and friends in hopes of bringing abundance and prosperity to all who share in the meal.
Another focus is on nurturing our health at the start of the year. Chinese people believe that if we start the year happy and healthy, we will be for the rest of the year.
Tea drinking is an important part of Chinese tradition. Aside from its health benefits, drinking tea is also deemed as an important part of social gatherings to promote well-being and longevity.
Zen Chi's black goji tea is perfect for starting your year right. Widely documented as a highly nutritious superfood, the black goji is known for its anti-aging, calming, and immunity-boosting properties. Get your first bottle now and have a healthy 2018.
From ZenChi, we wish you great health, happiness, and good fortune today and for the rest of the year! ♥️