23 January 2012

Gung Hay Fat Choy

thank you to shawn clover

It's the year of the Water Dragon, y'all! 

Things to do on the Lunar New Year*:
1. Clean house (sweep out old ill will & bad luck and make room for the auspicious New)   
2. Decorate the house with red: it symbolizes joy and in Mandarin the word for red is homophonous with prosperity.
3. Wear red to scare away bad spirits/luck. According to a Chinese acquaintance of mine, when it is "your" year (i.e. 2012 if you are born in the year of the dragon) you should wear red underwear the whole year. So there.
4.  Reconcile and forgive grudges (like a certain M.I.A. blog writer who shall remain nameless but whose initials are Viva Joy Riot.)
5. Eat duck, chicken, pig and sweets. Unless you're a duck, chicken or pig; then see #4.
6. Decorate with kumquats and narcissus to represent prosperity,  plum blossoms to stand for luck.
7. Break something, then shout (listener not required) 歲歲平安 Suìsuì-píng'ān! which means "everlasting peace year after year".

Some other sentiments worth bandying about:
  • 金玉滿堂Jīnyùmǎntáng - "May your wealth [gold and jade] come to fill a hall"
  • 大展鴻圖Dàzhǎnhóngtú - "May you realize your ambitions"
  • 迎春接福Yíngchúnjiēfú - "Greet the New Year and encounter happiness"
  • 萬事如意Wànshìrúyì - "May all your wishes be fulfilled"
  • 吉慶有餘Jíqìngyǒuyú - "May your happiness be without limit"
  • 竹報平安Zhúbàopíng'ān - "May you hear [in a letter] that all is well"
  • 一本萬利Yīběnwànlì = "May a small investment bring ten-thousandfold profits"
  • 福壽雙全Fúshòushuāngquán - "May your happiness and longevity be complete"
*What do I know about Chinese culture?  My knowledge could fit in the pupil of the dragon's eye, above. In other words, no, I'm not Chinese, nor an expert on anything related to anything Chinese. But, hey, consider the following in the good spirit with which it was intended. If I've gotten any of this wrong, I invite your corrections.