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Chinese New Year: How to Ring in the Year of the Horse

Chinese New Year begins today. Here are some great ideas for your celebration.

Chinese New Year: How to Ring in the Year of the Horse

Happy Chinese New Year!

Goodbye Snake, it’s time to usher in the Year of the Horse.

According to the Chinese lunar calendar, this year is all about “ strength, loyalty, boldness and vigorousness.” Bring it!

For anyone who wants to observe the holiday—whether you have Chinese roots or just love to run with a theme—here are a few ways to celebrate:

Food: Although there are many elements that go into a traditional Chinese New Year celebration (it’s 15 days long, after all), I can’t help put food on the top of the list. Food is huge part of the tradition, and certain ingredients and dishes are highly symbolic. I’ve got to find a pile of black moss seaweed because it symbolizes wealth. Here’s a full list. And here’s a great source for recipes if you plan to make a Chinese New Year fest.

Big clean: Don’t wait for spring. A customary way to prepare for Chinese New Year is to thoroughly clean the house: “ sweep out the old in order to usher in the new.” I can certainly get behind this, although I’m not sure my children (a.k.a. unpaid laborers) are going to be particularly excited. If you still have energy after the housework, why not decorate a little? Here are some great DIY ideas, with step-by-step instructions.

Money: Perhaps if I explain to my children the Chinese tradition of handing out “lucky money” in red envelopes for the new year, they won’t be so steamed about the last minute labor. Fun fact: the envelopes are called Hung Bao.

Gung Hay Fat Choy!   

Will you celebrate Chinese New Year? If so, what are your traditions? Tell us in the comments or in a blog post.

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