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11) Celebrate the Chinese New Year 23 Jan 2012

Happy Chinese New Year Everyone!

Today marks the dawn of the Year of the Dragon, the most powerful, noble and auspicious animal of the Chinese Zodiac.

Despite the fact that neither John nor I are Chinese (he’s German and I’m a Portuguese-Filipino mix), we spent yesterday (New Year’s Eve) completely immersed in Chinese New Year celebrations. Another first for the both of us. Check.

The Chinese lunar-calendar holiday is traditionally a time when people gather with family and friends to give thanks, feast on dumplings, fish and chicken, and set off fireworks to usher in the new moon.

To start our New Year’s eve off right, we woke up and gave thanks to each other, emailed our moms and gave thanks to them, and then consulted with Google for planning advice.

Thanks to the internet we discovered a few unusual Chinese New Year customs and superstitions to adopt for the day:

  1. Do wear reds and yellows (symbols of good luck and good fortune)
    Not a problem for me, my favourite sweater’s red. John had to run out to Value Village to pick up his sweater.
  2. Clean your house before New Year’s (a way to rid of the previous year’s bad luck)
    Perfect. We had been meaning to clean out our train-wreck of a closet (another to-do on the list now complete). If you want, you can read all about that laborious task here.
  3. Don’t sweep or clean your house on New Year’s Day (this could sweep away good fortune)
    No problem. Finished cleaning the closet at 11:30pm with 30 minutes to spare.
  4. Don’t wash your hair on New Year’s Day
    No problem. Hair washing’s overrated.
  5. Don’t curse or speak of death (this could bring bad luck)
    A tough one. I curse like a sailor and think about death often. But so far, I am holding up.
  6. Do eat chicken (a symbol of prosperity)
    On tonight’s agenda :)

Wearing our lucky red sweaters, we took off to the Harbourfront
Centre’s LunarFest. While there we hung out with a couple kids, played octopus vs star fish, and then got our fortunes told by the I CHING.

Our night ended back in the east-end at Eikona Restaurant, the BEST restaurant in China Town East.