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Gung Hey Fat Choy

BEFORE NEW YEAR's EVE


The celebration actually starts on New
Year's Eve with the reunion dinner. By New Year’s Eve, you should have
done the following:



  • Clean the entire home to get
    rid of all the things that are associated with the old year.

  • Put away all brooms and
    brushes.

  • Pay all your debts.

  • Resolve differences with
    family members, friends, neighbors and business associates.

  • Buy the following:

    - red money envelopes


    - oranges and/or tangerines


    - circular candy tray


    - flowers (especially plum
    blossom, peach blossom, water lily)


    - a new set of clothes and
    shoes for children, preferably something red or orange.



  • Get new dollar bills from
    the bank. Insert the new dollar bills into the red envelopes. Now the
    red envelope is called a lee see or lucky money envelope.



  • (note: Very few modern
    families follow all the "cleaning" traditions.)





ON NEW YEAR’s EVE:



  • Get together with close
    family members (not including married daughters and their families)
    for the "reunion" dinner.

  • Pay respect to ancestors and
    household gods. Acknowledge the presence of ancestors because they are
    responsible for the fortunes of future generations.

  • Open every door and window
    in your home at midnight to let go of the old year.


 


ON NEW YEAR’s DAY:



  • Decorate your home with
    symbols of good fortune. Here are some suggestions:


    - Colors: Bright red
    (happiness); gold/orange (wealth & happiness).


    - Fruits: Oranges and
    tangerines (good health & long life); tangerines with leaves
    intact (long lasting relationships; fruitful and multiply as in having
    children); persimmons (happiness and wealth).


    - Circular candy tray
    (candy for sweet and circular for togetherness).


    - Flowers: If flowers bloom
    on New Year’s Day, it will be a prosperous year.


    - Red banners or couplets
    with New Year wishes and symbols of good fortune in gold.



  • Here are some suggestions
    for food:


  • - Jai - a combination
    of food that represents good fortune. Jai comprises of ginkgo
    nut, black moss, dried bean curd, bamboo shoots, vermicelli and
    scallion.

  • - Fish and chicken represent
    prosperity. Always present the fish and chicken as a whole. Do not cut
    them in pieces. The head, tail and feet (for chicken) must be
    presented to symbolize completeness.

  • - Noodles represent
    longevity. Again, they should not be cut.

  • - Desserts include oranges,
    Chinese New Year cake (ni gao) and prosperous cakes (they look
    like golden nuggets).


 


DO’s & DON'Ts on NEW YEAR’s DAY:


- Greet others with "Gung
Hey Fat Choy" which means "Wishing You Prosperity and
Wealth".


- Give two lee see’s to
each child. Because happiness comes in two’s, do not just give one. This
is your way of passing good luck to the next generation. Business owners
also give lee see’s to employees and associates.


- Wear brand new clothes -
preferably in red. Children should wear new clothes and new shoes.


- Don’t wash your hair.


- Don’t sweep the floor.


- Don’t greet people who are
in mourning.


- Don’t drop your chopsticks.


- Don’t say the number
‘four’ (Chinese homonym for death) or mention death.


- Don’t borrow or lend money.


As you prepare for this
important holiday, think of the changes you want to make in your life ...
perhaps spend more time with your family, reduce your credit card debts or
pursue a new interest. Gung Hey Fat Choy ... and Happy New Year!


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delascabezas
The Son of the last of a long line of thinkers.
delascabezas.com

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