Chinese New Year, also known as the “Spring Festival,” kicks off around the world today (Friday, February 16th) with the festivities lasting for about 16 days. Although the date for Chinese New Year varies each year because it is based on the Chinese lunar calendar, it always falls between January 21st and February 20th. Each Chinese year is associated with a Chinese zodiac sign, and 2018 is ushering in the Year of the Dog.
Celebrating Chinese New Year
Red is considered a lucky color so you’ll find many red decorations such as lanterns and couplets lining the streets and on buildings as well as inside homes and businesses. And, as it’s the Year of the Dog, decorations will also feature the animal and children can look forward to dolls and toys in the shaped like man’s best friend.
While traditions and activities for celebrating the New Year vary from region to region, there are a few that are common for everyone. One of the major events of the holiday is enjoying a reunion dinner with extended family. Generations gather together to enjoy each other’s company, and tables are filled with dishes that are considered lucky including fish, spring rolls, rice cakes, and dumplings.
Those celebrating tend to stay up all night and just as midnight strikes amazing displays of fireworks are set off in cities to welcome the New Year. Fireworks or firecrackers have significant meaning as they were originally used to ward off evil spirits while today they add to the festive nature of the holiday.
Giving gifts to family and friends is a mainstay of the New Year but if you are thinking about buying a present for someone, make sure you follow the rules as some items and colors are considered unlucky. The most common gift is a red envelope stuffed with money, and in the digital age, there are even ways to give them electronically through WeChat.
However, if you want to offer something other than money, gifts (and wrapping paper) that are red, yellow and gold are considered lucky. Make sure you avoid anything that is black or white as those are colors associated with mourning and the New Year celebrations are all about attracting good luck and prosperity.
Gifts for friends commonly include flowers, fruit, tea, alcohol or tobacco. If you are buying something for a child, consider a book which represents your good wishes for their future. If the recipient is older, popular choices include combs which are seen as good for circulation and health or foot bath massagers which will keep them warm in the winter.
If you are looking for the perfect present for your significant other, necklaces are often associated with intimate relationships so giving them a red jewel set in gold is the ultimate in luxury and good fortune.
A 0.31-carat radiant cut diamond
What do we suggest? This incredibly rare RED diamond set in gold. It can be the centerpiece of a necklace (or ring), designed to match the style and taste of that special person in your life. With a gift like this, you’ll show your partner not only how much you care but also how much luck you want to send their way!