4. Which character for good fortune is widely seen at Chinese New Year?
The character for good fortune 福fú has an interesting derivation. It is widely seen on Chinese gifts. Just to add to confusion it is often shown ?upside down?
5. Which day of the New Year festival should you give the family dog a treat?
It is on the second day (the day after New Year's Day) that it is traditional to give the family pet a special treat.
6. When is the next dragon astrological year?
The dragon is considered the most auspicious astrological year with couples choosing to wait so their child can be born as 'dragons'. Dragon years include 2000, 2012 and 2024.
7. The New Year greeting 'Gong hei fat choy' is in which language?
This the Cantonese pronunciation of the greeting which in standard Chinese is 恭喜发财 gōng xǐ fā cái which means ‘congratulations, become wealthy’ and is often a greeting between people in business.
8. What is the phase of the moon at Chinese New Year?
The date of Chinese New Year moves because it is tied to the phase of the moon. It is timed to occur on the second new moon after the winter solstice on December 21st; this makes it fall in late January or February.
9. Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) usually takes place in which month(s)?
February or March
January or February
March or April
The Spring Festival starts on the second New Moon after the Winter solstice, the date falls between January 20th to February 21st depending on the position of the moon each year and lasts for two weeks.
10. Why are fish widely eaten at Chinese New Year?
The god of fish was born on Chinese New Year
Fish in Chinese sounds like abundance
Fish keep away demons
The Chinese for fish is 鱼 yú which in standard Chinese sounds the same as 余 yú which means 'surplus, abundance'. So it is making the wish for abundance in the new year.
11. Why are oranges, tangerines and similar fruits are often seen at Chinese New Year?
Wishes good luck
Adds Vitamin C to diet
The character 桔 jú is made up of the radical 木 mù ‘wood’ and 吉 jí ‘lucky’. Also ju sounds close to 祝 zhù ‘to wish’ so it symbolizes a wish for good fortune.
12. Which color envelope is traditionally used for gifts of money?
Red is the luckiest color and is widely seen at festivals and marriages to bring good luck and keep evil at bay. Charms written on red paper are plastered all over houses at Chinese New Year because according to legend the Nian monster is frightened by anything red. 宏 hóng sounds the same and means ?great; magnificent? so a red color bestows idea of wish for greatness in decorations.
13. What is a 'guotie'?
fried dumpling (jiaozi)
A guotie is literally a 'pot sticker' - a parcel of meat or vegetables wrapped in dough that has been fried.
14. Which Chinese god is given an offering a week prior to Chinese New Year?
Zao Jun - the Kitchen god
Sun Wukong - the Monkey King
Mi Le Fo - the Laugjhing buddha
It is on the eve of Chinese New Year that families pay particular deference to Zao Jun so that he can relay a favorable report on the household's life to heaven for the last year - his lips are smeared with honey. Traditionally a portrait of him was hung in the kitchen which was ritually burned and replaced every New Year.
15. What heralds the start of New Year's day?
Early on New Year's Day is the time to have ears blasted with numerous firecrackers 爆竹 bào zhú but firecrackers are now regarded as such a noise and pollution nuisance that they are banned from the center of large cities.