Year of the Red Fire Monkey
Happy Chinese New Year ~ Year of the Red Fire Monkey!!! The Chinese New Year of the Fire Monkey will start on February 8th. Following 12 months of the dignified and surefooted Goat, the New Year of the Red Monkey is going shake, rattle and roll!
The positive and negative quality of the Monkey Year 2016 culminate in a year where anything can happen. The influence of the Monkey puts everything into flux. Things will get accomplished, but largely through personal and individual efforts. Group movements, such as political upheaval or revolutions, will not make a mark during this year.
On the individual level, do go ahead with your life. Move forward, make strides, and stretch out for what may lay ahead. The Year Of The Monkey 2016 is a time for business considered as risky, and here the seeds of unplanned success lays. Run with ideas, embrace the inventive, and don’t look back.
The Chinese New Year falls on different dates each year, based on the lunisolar calendar. The start of the New Year usually falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice. The lunar Chinese New Year calendar has names that are repeated every 60 years. Within the 'Stem-Branch' system is the shorter cycle of 12 years denoted by animals.
Of all the traditional Chinese festivals, the New Year is the most elaborate, colorful, and important. Socially, it is a time for family reunions, and for visiting friends and relatives. This holiday, more than any other Chinese holiday, stresses the importance of family ties.
Other Chinese traditions that signify this 'turning over a new leaf' include:
Sweeping of the Grounds ~ Every corner of the house must be swept and cleaned in preparation for the new year.
Kitchen God ~ After the house was cleaned it was time to bid farewell to the Kitchen God, or Zaowang. In traditional China, the Kitchen God was regarded as the guardian of the family hearth. He was identified as the inventor of fire, which was necessary for cooking and was also the censor of household morals.
Family Celebration ~ Tradition stipulates that all food be prepared before the New Years Day, so that all sharp instruments, such as knives and scissors are put away to avoid cutting the "luck" of the New Year. All members of the family would gather for the important family meal on the evening of the New years Eve. Even if a family member could not attend, an empty seat would be kept to symbolize that person’s presence at the banquet.
Lai-See ~ On New Years Day, the children are given Red Lai-See Envelopes ~ good luck money wrapped in little red envelopes. On New Years day, everyone wears new clothes, and is on their best behavior. It is considered improper to tell a lie, raise ones voice, use indecent language, or break anything on the first day of the year.
Lantern Festival ~ The New Year celebrations ended on the 15th of the First Moon with the Lantern Festival. On the evening of that day, people carry lanterns into the streets to take part in a great parade.
As we say 'Adios to the year of the Horse and welcome the Wood Sheep this new moon is full of passive and nurturing energy.
More information HERE
"My four year-old absolutely loves RAWgles and MACAroonies, which are healthy and convenient options for school snacks and travel treats."
Lissa L. ~ Lake Cowichan, B.C.