The year of the dragon, Chinese Year 4710, began on Jan. 23 and is considered the luckiest year in the 12-year Chinese Zodiac cycle. Red is the dragon’s color, and wearing red is said to ensure good fortune. Each day of the 15-day holiday comes with its recommended traditions, all designed to bring happiness, prosperity and luck throughout the year.
On the third and fourth day, Wednesday, Jan. 25 and Thursday, Jan. 26, Chinese tradition requires sons-in- law pay respects to their parents-in-law. On the fifth day, Friday, Jan. 27, a day called Po Woo, it’s important to stay home for that is the day the God of Wealth comes to visit. No one visits friends and families on that day since it will bring both parties bad luck. On day six, Saturday, Jan. 28, visit relatives and friends. On day seven, considered the birthday of human beings as a species, it is important to eat noodles to promote longevity and raw fish for success. On day eight, the last day off for most Chinese, family dinners are held. Days nine and ten remember and honor the Jade Emperor, ruler of heaven, hell and man’s dominions according to Taoist mythology. On day eleven and twelve, Feb. 3 and 4, Chinese visit their friends and invite them and family members for dinners a their homes. On day 13, Guan Yu, the Chinese God of War and Success is honored. Families eat simple vegetarian food to cleanse the body. Day fourteen is used to prepare for the last day of the New Year celebration, the Festival of Lanterns, which falls on Monday, Feb. 13. The Chinese light lamps, candles and lanterns and place them outside the home in order to guide spirits responsible for bringing light. Chinese eat rice dumplings on this day,
symbolic of reunion as well as tangerines for prosperity.
Chinese New Year or “Chunjie” is undoubtedly the country’s most family-oriented holiday, celebrated in homes. Chinese New Year tradition celebrates homecoming, with most Chinese migrating to their birthplaces for a portion of the 15-day celebration.