Happy Chinese New Year! Today is Chinese New Year, the most important Chinese Holiday where families gather to celebrate the traditional holiday with an annual family dinner with parents handing out red envelopes with money to their children. I had the opportunity to interview my friend “May” (Not her real name) and get her views on what this tradition means to her and her family.
May is Chinese and and is the eldest of nine daughters. We’ve known each other for over 15 years. She plans on taking off the day from work to celebrate with her family. She advised that Chinese people believe that whatever you do on Chinese New Year will set the pace for what you’re going to do for the rest of the year. In preparation for Chinese New Year she plans on getting a new outfit, a new pair of shoes and a new haircut for good fortune and prosperity. On Chinese New Year she encourages others not to throw anything away because it means that you will throw out your good fortune. May also recommends that you don’t talk bad about others because you don’t want to start the year off with bad things. When I asked her what other things she plans on doing for herself, she advised she plans to taking photos with her new camera in Orange County and spending time with her nephew. She is looking forward to celebrating this tradition with a huge family dinner as well.
I’m very fond of my friend May and have a lot of respect for her cultural traditions. Over the years we’ve learned a lot about each others culture by observing each other cultural traditions. We’ve shared family triumphs and stories at over one hundred dinners and hundreds of coffee & tea breaks. We’ve learned that people in the United States and other countries have a lot more in common than we have differences. We love our families, our culture and food! One year I was even adopted as sister 1.5 and my parents also adopted her. I knew when my mom sent her home with a bag of lemons and made her some Pozole (traditional Mexican Hominy soup) that she was immediately my sister. I’m very fortunate that I can count her as one of my close friends.
Today I plan on making one of my families favorite recipes, Spicy Salt & Pepper Wings served with fried rice and a Chinese cabbage salad to celebrate the day with my family. Later on this month May and I will have our own Chinese New Year celebration with a day of taking photos, shopping and a traditional Chinese dinner. I can’t wait to find out if her parents gave all the nine children red envelopes and see if sister 1.5 got an envelope too.
Happy Chinese New Year! Do you have a friend that has a special Chinese New Year Tradition? How are you celebrating the Lunar New Year? Are you cooking or eating Chinese food today?
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