For thousands of years, the Chinese New Year celebration has marked the beginning of a fresh new start as the year begins. This year the holiday falls on January 28th, and is represented by our friend, the Rooster. Previous Rooster years include 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005. Are you a Rooster? Are you welcoming a Rooster baby soon? Here's a little peek into the personalities and health of people born in these years and also ways to celebrate the traditions which are thought to bring good fortune, health, and longevity to you and your family in the coming year.
Personality Traits of The Rooster
Roosters are always active, amusing, and popular within a crowd. Roosters are talkative, outspoken, frank, open, honest, and loyal individuals. They like to be the center of attention and take pride in their appearance. Hardworking, resourceful, courageous, and talented, Roosters are very confident in themselves.
Those born under this sign can be blunt when it comes to offering their opinions. Their bluntness stems not from being mean but from being honest; a trait which Roosters also expect from others.
Roosters are happiest when they are surrounded by others, whether at a big party or a small social gathering. They enjoy the spotlight and will exhibit their charm on any occasion.
Roosters and Health
Roosters are typically healthy people and enjoy physical activities. Roosters don't get sick very often because they tend to fight illness well. Even when they do become ill, they feel better quickly. Roosters are a little sensitive, and they feel stressed and moody at times, but then again, who doesn't?
Best Job and Career Choices For Roosters
Roosters are more motivated than other animals in the Chinese zodiac, making their careers a priority in their lives. Roosters are hard working, multi-talented, and can deal with a variety of jobs.
Good career choices for Roosters are news personality, sales person, restaurant owner, hairdresser, public relations officer, farmer, athlete, teacher, waiter, journalist, travel writer, dentist, surgeon, soldier, fireman, security guard, and police officer. Quite a range of choices, which probably means due to their outgoing and confident personalities, Roosters will thrive at any job they choose.
Celebrating The Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year is based on the seasons in accordance to the lunar calendar, which is why it comes sometime in late January or in early February. This holiday is considered the welcoming of spring and with new beginnings, this special day signifies the invitation of year-round happiness, prosperity, good health, and long life. People all over the world will be celebrating so if you live in a city with an Asian population, you might be able to catch a dragon parade or some lion dances which are some of the festivities celebrated on the day of the new year. Here are some other traditions you can follow if you want to participate:
- New Years Reunion Dinner: New Years Eve is typically spent with family and the meal you have together is believed to be the most important of the year. Fish is eaten because the word for fish in Chinese also sounds like the word for surplus. Other "lucky" foods include dumplings, longevity noodles, spring rolls, sweet rice balls, and glutinous rice cakes.
- Wear Red: To the Chinese, red is a lucky and cheerful color. People dress in red for the New Year and decorate streets and buildings in red. Red lanterns are commonly seen hanging during the celebrations.
- Put Out a Bowl of Mandarin Oranges: They are a symbol of prosperity, longevity, and good fortune. Offer them to any guests who visit your home.
- Get Some Fire Crackers: It has long been a Chinese tradition to set off firecrackers when the New Year clock strikes. The tradition is to set off one string of small firecrackers first, followed by three big firecrackers, which symbolize "sounding out" the old year and "sounding in" the new year. The louder the three firecrackers, the better and luckier it’s believed it will be for business and farming in the coming year.
Chinese New Year Superstitions
Since this holiday is all about bringing good luck, it's not a surprise that there would be some things that you would need to do or avoid, especially if you're a superstitious person, in order to keep your luck. Listed below are some of the time honored traditions that people follow around the Chinese New Year.
- Don't Start Out with a Messy House: Get rid of all the bad luck gathered from the previous year by cleaning your house. Cleaning house also means settling any unfinished business from the previous year like settling an argument or paying off a debt. After the New Year comes, you aren't supposed to sweep for a couple days or else you'll sweep away all the new luck you've welcomed.
- Hide the Knives: According to New Year superstition, you should have all your cooking done ahead of time and then all the knives should be put away. Using a knife during the first few days "cuts off" the good luck for the coming year. This seems like a tough one, especially if you work in a kitchen! Also you are supposed to have your knives sharpened before the start of the New Year.
- Broken Crockery is Bad Luck: Throw out any broken or chipped plates, cups, or other crockery. Having them around is not good luck!
- Wear New Clothes: Best of luck comes to those who sport new clothing. So look your best, and definitely don't wear anything torn or with missing buttons. That would just be bad luck. Also, don't wash your hair on New Years Day. Just like sweeping, you could wash away the good luck you've been saving up.
- Don't Swear: Everyone should refrain from using foul language and bad or unlucky words. Negative terms and the word "four" (ssu in Chinese), which sounds like the word for death, are not to be uttered! Death and dying are never mentioned and ghost stories are totally taboo. References to the past year are also avoided as everything should be turned toward the New Year and new beginning.
- Don't Punish The Kids: Kids are usually not reprimanded or scolded even if they are naughty because if you cry on New Year's day, it means you will cry the whole year.
While most Chinese people today don't believe the do's and don'ts of the New Year, these customs are still practiced. These traditions, whether believed or not, provide continuity with the past keeping with the old customs of China. If you want to attend the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration, check the dates on what's happening in your town because they probably won't necessarily fall on the 28th. If you live in Austin, it will take place on Sunday, February 5th from 10 am to 6pm in Chinatown Center. This is located at 10901 N Lamar Blvd Austin Texas. There will be lots of yummy food and performances and maybe I will see you there! Here is a link to the Austin Chinatown Center if you want to keep up with what's going on.