Happy New Year Again!

I greeted you on January 1. But being married to someone of Chinese descent, let me greet you again: Gong Xi Fa Cai (Mandarin)!

Chinese New Year begins on January 31, 2014 this year.

A Chinese year, as we know it, is counted with a lunar calendar, which is the movement of the moon, as opposed to the movement of the sun. Each month begins on the darkest day through the full moon, which happens on the 15th of the month, till the moon becomes dark again.

New Year festivities start on day one of the lunar month and continues until the fifteenth. In China, many people take many days, or weeks, off from work to prepare for the celebration of New Year.

In my family, what we associate most with the Chinese New Year is the tikoy (Nian Gao, sometimes translated as year cake). That yummy, sticky, and sweetish delicacy that comes in a red box and given away to friends, business associates, and loved ones before, during and right after the New Year festivities.

Traditionally, we receive dozens of boxes every New Year, which of course we couldn’t finish even if we feasted on it every day, morning noon and night. So we give most of them away to friends.

Unlike last year, when we had French cuisine, we went back to tradition and feasted on exotic Chinese dishes, the names of which escape me. 

This is one celebration where prosperity seems to out-voice all themes. People seek out fortune tellers/seers/and psychics for clues to the future.

May we not be distracted and seek only our loving God who created all nationalities. May we cast away all forms of superstition and look to God as the only Giver of grace.

“Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:31 (ESV)

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