A Sophisticate Celebrates Lunar New Year

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The one word that seemed to represent the asian culture  was respect. The respect that the culture taught to show oneself and others is un-paralled. The culture seemed to me one of care and concern. Attention to detail that benefited others and oneself in all circumstances, even in the face of adversity was what the asian culture seemed to represent.

The shadow that a flame makes in the dark is red. For me the color red represents power, dignity, and strength. Red is   pink on fire. When a Sophisticate wears red she is representing her ambition, her power, the pride she has in herself, and finally her dignity and strength. When a Sophisticate wears red silk she is the embodiment of beauty, strength, and grace.

For a Sophisticate, in the beginning of each new year the color red also represents good fortune. 

Chinese New Year is celebrated by many ethnic Chinese and other ethnicities around the world. Many call it "Spring Festival". The Chinese new year is based on the lunar solar calendar. Twelve year cycles each represented by a particular animal. Each year takes on the characteristics of the animal that is represented.  

Separate from how each year is represented is the lion dancing. Lion dancing acts like gargoyles on churches. The dancing wards off bad spirits frightening away the bad luck in the new year. The fireworks are similar to the 4th of July. The fireworks light up the darkness and night sky for everyone to see. The fireworks display shown for everyone to  marvel at the beauty and importance of the family holiday.

Chinese New Year is an enormous celebration. It is as big as Thanksgiving,  Christmas, Halloween combined! The largest human migration in the world happens around the Lunar New Year.  

Certain traditions follow such as house is cleaned and painted to sweep away bad luck. Brooms are put away so good luck for the new year can't be swept away. New clothes bought and hair is cut for fresh start in the new year. Finally, houses are decorated with lucky phrases and couplets.

The most important of these traditions is that the family gathers together to have dinner. Respect is paid to the older generations of the family and as well as the ancestors. 

To welcome and celebrate with with the family, food is cooked and  served to represent the hopes and wishes of the new year. Below are a only a few examples:
  • Fish- Surplus
  • Noodles- longevity
  • Sticky Rice Cakes - Higher achievements in the new year
  • Candied fruits/vegetables - Sweet year seeds- Fertility
  • Dried Oysters, hair moss, lettuce - Wealth
  • Fried Sweet Dumpling - Wealth
  • Raw Fish Salad - Surplus
  • Buddha's Delight- Cleansing
  • Tangerine- Luck
Red envelopes of money are given to the children after respect has been given to those who came before them. The Chinese New Year represents all that is Sophisticated in the 21st Century. The optimism and hope for all that can be good in the new year of a Sophisticate's life. Chinese New Year is not about celebration, it is about the family, good fortune,  and most importantly respect.

A big 'Thank You' to Jamina Lai who provided the background information for Chinese New Year.