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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Chinese New Year 2017 = 4715 - Gong Xi Fa Cai - Gong Hey Fat Choy

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Rooster is the tenth in the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac sign. The Years of the Rooster include  1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029...
Rooster is almost the epitome of fidelity and punctuality. For ancestors who had no alarm clocks, the crowing was significant, as it could awaken people to get up and start to work. In Chinese culture, another symbolic meaning of chicken carries is exorcising evil spirits.

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2017 is Year of the Chicken or Rooster and it will arrive on February 3, 2017. Many people must be eager to know if they will have better luck in the coming year than previous years. 
Chinese New Year's day is not the first day of the Chinese astrological Year. 2017 Chinese New Year is on January 28, 2017. That is the new moon day of the first lunar month. The new moon time of the first lunar month is at 8:08 a.m. of January 28, 2017 in China Standard Time. Chinese New Year is from the Chinese Lunar Calendar.

The Year 2017
is the 4715th Chinese Year

The Chinese believe that the first king of China was the Yellow King (he was not the first emperor of China). The Yellow King became king in 2697 B.C., therefore China will enter the 4712th year on February 19, 2015. Also, the Chinese Year uses the cycle of 60 Stem-Branch counting systems and the Green Wood Sheep is the 32nd Stem-Branch in the cycle. Since (60 *78) + 32 = 4712, therefore 2015 is the Wooden Sheep year, which is the 4712th Chinese Year.



 
Gong Hey Fat Choy !!
!!!  恭喜发财  !!!
Gong Xi Fa Cai !!
Lunar New Year 2016
Year of the

    ROOSTER   雞 / 鷄
Gōngjī

New Year  新年 
 
 The color red is used because it is considered a color that wards off evil and symbolizes Good Luck.


It is said that odd number of bills, coins or the total of the money given must not add up to an odd number (like 3,5,7,9, etc.), but either must be an even number or end with an “8″ in the ones column (like $88.00, $168.00, etc.) as they are considered auspicious or “good” numbers. Any money must not total the numbers, 4, 40,44,444, etc., as the pronunciation of the word “four” in Chinese dialects resembles the word for death, a bad omen.
    
Red envelopes are also given to newlyweds in China.


You can activate Good Luck on this day by burning red candles anointed with “Fast Luck” oil to activate the goodness of the New Year and the first New Moon.

History of Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year Festival is the most significant holiday for Chinese people around the world, regardless of the origin of their ancestors. It is also known as the Lunar New Year Festival because it is based on the lunar calendar as opposed to the Gregorian calendar. The holiday is a very jubilant occasion mainly because it is the time when people take a break from work to get together with family and friends.
The origin of the Chinese New Year Festival can be traced back thousands of years through a continually evolving series of colorful legends and traditions. One of the most famous legends is that of Nien, an extremely cruel and ferocious beast, which the Chinese believe, eats people on New Year’s Eve. To keep Nien away, red-paper couplets are pasted on doors, torches are lit, and firecrackers are set off throughout the night, because Nien is said to fear the color of red, the light of fire, and loud noises. Early the next morning, as feelings of triumph and renewal fill the air at successfully keeping Nien away for another year, the most popular greeting heard is kung-hsi, or “congratulations.”
Even though Chinese New Year celebrations generally only last for several days, starting on New Year’s Eve, the festival itself is actually about three weeks long. It begins on the twenty-fourth day of the twelfth lunar month, the day, it is believed, when various gods ascend to heaven to pay their respects and report on household affairs to the Jade Emperor, the supreme Taoist deity. According to tradition, households busily honor these gods by burning ritualistic paper money to provide for their traveling expenses. Another ritual is to smear malt sugar on the lips of the Kitchen God, one of the traveling deities, to ensure that he either submits a favorable report to the Jade Emperor or keeps silent.
Next, “spring couplets” are hung up around the house. Spring couplets are paper scrolls and squares inscribed with blessings and auspicious words, such as “good fortune,” “wealth,” “longevity,” and “springtime.” The paper squares are usually pasted upside down, because the Mandarin Chinese word for “upside down,” Tao, is a homonym of the word “arrival.” Thus, the paper squares represent the “arrival” of spring and the “coming” of prosperous times.

On lunar New Year’s Eve, family members who are no longer living at home make a special effort to return home for reunion and share in a sumptuous meal. At that time, family members hand out “lucky money” in red envelopes to elders and children and stay up all night to welcome the New Year. Chinese people have long believed that staying awake all night on New Year’s Eve would help their parents to live a longer life. Thus, lights are kept on the entire night–not just to drive away Nien, as in ancient times, but also as an excuse to make the most of the family get-together. Some families even hold religious ceremonies after midnight to welcome the God of the New Year into their homes, a ritual that is often concluded with a huge barrage of firecrackers.
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Gong Xi Fa Cai
!!!  恭喜发财  !!!

 
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Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest. In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.
 
A Fun New Year

Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality traits. Those born in rooster years are often independent, practical, hard-working, and observant. 
People believe the rooster years bring bad luck to those born in the year of the rooster. Britney Spears, Roger Federer, Caroline Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Eric Clapton, Natalie Portman, and Yoko Ono were born in the year of the rooster.
Fireworks and Family Feasts
At Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper, and give children "lucky money" in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in a similar ancient custom. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten evil spirits.

The Lantern Festival
In China, the New Year is a time of family reunion. Family members gather at each other's homes for visits and shared meals, most significantly a feast on New Year's Eve. In the United States, however, many early Chinese immigrants arrived without their families, and found a sense of community through neighborhood associations instead. Today, many Chinese-American neighborhood associations host banquets and other New Year events.
The lantern festival is held on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. Some of the lanterns may be works of art, painted with birds, animals, flowers, zodiac signs, and scenes from legend and history. People hang glowing lanterns in temples, and carry lanterns to an evening parade under the light of the full moon.
In many areas the highlight of the lantern festival is the dragon dance. The dragon—which might stretch a hundred feet long—is typically made of silk, paper, and bamboo. Traditionally the dragon is held aloft by young men who dance as they guide the colorful beast through the streets. In the United States, where the New Year is celebrated with a shortened schedule, the dragon dance always takes place on a weekend. In addition, many Chinese-American communities have added American parade elements such as marching bands and floats. 


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Happy Lunar New Year!
  新年快樂!

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