Have a blast for Chinese New Year!
By Janet Simons
Are you ready to celebrate Chinese New Year 2013, the Year of the Snake? It’s perfectly timed for merry-making, with Chinese New Year’s Eve on Saturday night, Feb. 9, and New Year’s Day on Sunday. And if you’ve never paid much attention to this all-important Oriental holiday, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.
For starters, you’ll find the celebration has some familiar features. Chinese families will sit down to a traditional family meal on Saturday night. And, although the poultry is more likely to be chicken or duck than turkey, the multi-generational meal is reminiscent of Thanksgiving. Some modern Oriental families also have adopted such Western New Year’s practices as partying and counting down the seconds until midnight. That might be followed by a fireworks display not unlike some cities’ shows at midnight on Dec. 31. In addition to family dinners, the 15-day holiday (which ends on Monday, Feb. 25) features Christmas-sy gift-giving, new clothes and shoes, decorations, parties and travel challenges reminiscent of the movie “Trains, Planes and Automobiles.”
There are similarities to other Western traditions, as well. The Chinese also clean their homes thoroughly before the holiday, much as observant Jews clean their homes before Passover. And, much like Jews on the eve of Yom Kippur, they pay off any remaining debts, wipe the slate clean of all the previous year’s grudges and ask for a fresh start in any troubled relationships.
Although we may think of Chinese New Year as a holiday celebrated on the other side of the globe, according to “Lunar New Year ushers in Year of the Snake,” an article by San Franciscan Elizabeth Weise in the Feb. 7 USA Today, on Thursday malls featuring Asian products already were jammed with shoppers seeking traditional and symbolic Chinese New Year foods, including whole fish, round dumplings and cakes made of glutinous rice.
And, according to “Valley celebrates Chinese New Year with food, music and dance,” in the Feb. 7 Las Vegas Review-Journal, the party-hearty town of Las Vegas is ready with an agenda including feasts, martial arts demonstrations and Japanese Taiko drum performances.
So why not join the fun? This weekend will be a great time to have a Chinese New Year party and/or to head for your favorite Chinese restaurant to feast on traditional foods and – if you’re lucky – to catch a dragon or lion dance.
And, as always, ShopAtHome.com can help you celebrate with these amazing Chinese New Year offers and deals:
•Restaurant.com, 30% cash back
–Get $25 Restaurant Gift Certificates for $6 with code
•Oriental Trading, 4% cash back
–Free “Strawberry Shortsnake” Chinese New Year recipe
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