February 3rd 2011 marks the Chinese & Vietnamese New Year which will be dedicated to year of the Rabbit. Those who are rabbits are said to be lucky, talented and articulate. Contrary to popular belief, Chinese New Year is not only celebrated by the Chinese, but also by countries with significant Chinese population and influence including Indonesia, Macau, Phillippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan. Not to mention our very own nation, Vietnam! The fifteen day celebration is one of the most important holidays and is celebrated with symbolic foods, family, festive decoration, and gift giving to bring good luck for the New Year and to welcome Spring.
|Beautiful Hong Kong sky lit with fireworks.|
Over the fifteen day celebration families visit their elder family members, have large family meals, shoot fire crackers, make wishes and offer prayers to bring wealth and success. The last day of the celebration calls for major festivities which is celebrated as Chap Go Meh or the Lantern Festival. Families walk through the street carrying lanterns. Families light candles on their doorway as a signal to help guide lost spirits home.
|Lantern Festival in Chinatown|
This last day is also seen as the Chinese version of Valentine's day. Normally, single women would write their contact number on mandarin oranges and throw it in a river or a lake while single men would collect them and eat the oranges. The taste is an indication of their possible love: sweet represents a good fate while sour represents a bad fate. Hey, maybe we should try it one day and see if it works!
Happy Chinese &Vietnamese New Year
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