While most of the world rings in the New Year this Sunday, my friend Len and his family will wait until January 28. Know why? Because that’s Chinese New Year, and even though Len has lived in Canada for his whole life, his parents are from China and there, the annual New Year’s celebration is a BIG deal.
In fact, did you know that in China (and even some Chinese people who live in Canada) take SEVEN days off work to bring in the New Year? Len says that even though his family doesn’t follow ALL of the traditions (there are a lot of them!), it’s still the most important time of the year—New Year’s is a chance for family to gather for good food, celebrate a year’s worth of successes, and wish for a lucky and prosperous 2017.
I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a great idea to me, especially after THIS terrible year. (I wasn’t going to mention it, but my favourite actress, Carrie Fisher, died this week and I’ve been watching Star Wars NON STOP with my little sister ever since…I can’t tell you how many times she has dressed up like Princess Leia over the years!)
Len says I’m bound to see a lot of roosters around, too, since in Chinese culture, 2017 is the Year of the Rooster. Apparently there are red rooster dolls for the children and New Year’s paintings with roosters on them. I kind of hope Len brings one of those rooster dolls to school…just so I can see it.
I looked it up and guess what? I was born on the year of the rooster too! Apparently that means my lucky numbers are 5, 7, and 8. Gold, brown and YELLOW are my lucky colours (Grandpa is going to love that), and I should steer clear of the number 9.
I’ve always heard about Chinese New Year, but until Len and I started talking about it, I never gave it much thought. It’s kind of cool to think that a whole other celebration is going on DAYS after I’ve already brought in the New Year. It makes me wonder how much more exists that I don’t know about!
Which is why I’m going to make only one New Year’s resolution this weekend: In 2017, I resolve to learn more about the cultures of the people who live in Canada.
How about you? Do you have any New Year’s resolutions? And what is YOUR Chinese animal sign?
Gotta jet! Have a great weekend and…see you next year!
~ Chase Superman Duffy