Chinese New Year: year of the dog

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Chinese Lunar Year is a yearly holiday celebrated by most of Eastern Asia. There are many traditions depending on a household, but most typically are the colors red and gold, which usually mean great luck, and the significance of the zodiac calendar animals along with the red envelopes.

The colors red and gold are strived to push the evil spirits and souls away. They represent good luck, and typically people wear clothing in these colors to keep themselves clean. They usually mean great happiness, and homes are decorated in a full bloom of red and gold to keep them out of the house.

To play along this idea of scaring off evil spirits there are live lion/dragon dances and fireworks. These spirit animals are told to be furious and enough to get rid of the bad. These dances are public and many come to experience the firecrackers popping, the dance and the eating of the cabbage by the dancers. The cabbage is to good health, the firecrackers are a physical factor to scare off the bad and the dancing is in celebration of being clean of evil.

Chinese Lunar Year also isn’t on a certain date every year, it depends on the Lunar calendar making it fall between January and February. Each year also has a year of a Zodiac. This year is a the Year of the Dog. Meaning whoever is born in the 12 year increments from then on and before as a dog, will have the traits of loyalty and honesty. Each year is different and those traits are are given to that zodiac year.

Here is one thing for sure, all households share in common which is the red envelopes with money. These typically are given to young children in families as a sign for them to grow up well and prosper from the wiser and older ones. When receiving envelopes people state prayers or words of luck to the adult in thanks.

These are just some of the many traditions of the Chinese Lunar Year. I personally love the colors, they’re super vibrant and make any home beautiful, the shades of red and the decorations are pleasing and are about more than just luck. I look forward to the dances every year that take place locally and the envelopes that help me buy my lunches. All of these are just parts of what Chinese Lunar Year is about.