Sunday, January 24, 2010

Chinese New Year

I recently received a custom order to make a custom dress to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Since our family loves Asian food, and we regularly drive to Denver to visit Asian restaurants and markets I decided to write a blog post about it to go along with this lovely dress I made.
My signature Pocketdress you see below features cute little black and red goldfishes swimming about. Goldfishes are considered very lucky by Chinese people but particularly lucky during the time of Chinese New Year's!

Chinese New Year's day coincides this year with Valentine's Day!
On February 14th 2010 the year of the Tiger starts according to the Chinese calendar.

Quote from Wikipedia:
" Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is sometimes called the "Lunar New Year" by English speakers. The festival traditionally begins on the first day of the first month (Chinese: 正月; pinyin: zhēng yuè) in the Chinese calendar and ends on the 15th; this day is called Lantern Festival. Chinese New Year's Eve is known as Chúxī. It literally means "Year-pass Eve".
Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festivity in the Lunar Calendar. The origin of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Ancient Chinese New Year is a reflection on how the people behaved and what they believed in the most.
Celebrated in areas with large populations of ethnic Chinese, Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the new year celebrations of its geographic neighbors, as well as cultures with whom the Chinese have had extensive interaction. These include Koreans (Seollal), Tibetans and Bhutanese (Losar), Mongolians (Tsagaan Sar), Vietnamese (Tết), and formerly the Japanese before 1873 (Oshogatsu). Outside of Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, Chinese New Year is also celebrated in countries with significant Han Chinese populations, such as Singapore, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. In countries such as Australia, Canada and the United States, although Chinese New Year is not an official holiday, many ethnic Chinese hold large celebrations and Australia Post, Canada Post, and the US Postal Service issues New Year's themed stamps.
Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the Chinese new year vary widely. People will pour out their money to buy presents, decoration, material, food, and clothing. It is also the tradition that every family thoroughly cleans the house to sweep away any ill-fortune in hopes to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red colour paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity”. On the Eve of Chinese New Year, supper is a feast with families. Food will range from pigs, to ducks, to chicken and sweet delicacies. The family will end the night with firecrackers. Early the next morning, children will greet their parents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year, and receive money in red paper envelopes. The Chinese New Year tradition is a great way to reconcile forgetting all grudges, and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone. "

Sorry about the long quote! But I found all that information so interesting and totally fascinating. I particularly like the idea of throwing out the grudges and getting rid of emotional baggage. Is this where the idea of that good old spring cleaning came from? Not only will the house be much cleaner but it will bring you Good Luck for the year. Of course, don't do it on February 14th. From what I have read, it is considered really Bad Luck to clean house on the Chinese New Year's Day itself!

Happy New Year!


Myfanwy said...

That little dress is adorable. Interesting info too.

Chandra said...

I love the dress! But the booties won my heart :)

germandolls said...

Thanks for your kind words!I hope the bring the child who reveived them lots of luck!