Gung Hay Fat Choy

chinese new year los angeles beverly hills joyce reyHappy Chinese New Year! ‘Gung Hay Fat Choy’ loosely translated means “Best wishes and Congratulations. Have a prosperous and good year!” in Chinese. 2013 is the Year of the Black Snake.

This 2013 year of Snake is meant for steady progress and attention to detail. Focus and discipline will be necessary for you to achieve what you set out to create. The Snake is the sixth sign of the Chinese Zodiac, which consists of 12 Animal Signs. It is the enigmatic, intuitive, introspective, refined and collected of the Animals Signs. Ancient Chinese wisdom says a Snake in the house is a good omen because it means that your family will not starve.

Chinese New Year marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring.  It is a time for family reunions, for honoring ancestors and for being thankful of your blessings and good fortune.

Families make great preparations for this special celebration.  Before the new year, families settle debts and buy new clothes. The house is cleaned and food is prepared.  Homes are filled with flowers and fruit. Oranges, tangerines, and pomeloes are picked and displayed. The colors symbolize good luck and joy.

Blossoms symbolize longevity and courage.  Some Chinese believe that if flowers blossom on New Year’s Day good fortune will be theirs for the next year. Candy trays of candied melon, coconut, lotus seed  and watermelon seed are offered. They signify growth, good health, abundance and togetherness.

Scrolls or couplets are hung on walls or doorways to carry messages of good health, luck, long life, prosperity, and happiness.  A popular one reads “May everything be according to your wishes.”

On the seventh day of the New Year everyone adds a year to their age no matter when they were born.  In traditional China individual birthdays were not considered as important as this New Year’s date.