Happy Chinese New Year! KUNG HEI FAT CHOI Welcome to the Year of the Dog!

About Chinese New Year of the Dog According to the Chinese zodiac, 2018 is the Year of the Dog, and the New Year starts on Friday 16 February 2018.

If you were born in 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 or 2018 you are a Dog!

Look out for your lucky signs:

Lucky numbers: 3, 4, and 9

Lucky colours: Red, green, and purple

Lucky flower: Rose, cymbidium, and orchids

Lucky directions: East, south, and northeast

Lucky months: The 6th, 10th, and the 12th Chinese lunar months

Look out for unlucky signs:

Unlucky numbers: 1, 6, and 7

Unlucky colours: Blue, white, and Gold

Unlucky direction: Southeast

Unlucky months: The 5th and 8th Chinese lunar months

As with many festivities, Chinese New Year is centred around delicious food that is usually symbolic in some way, to bring in luck for the coming year – e.g. noodles are prepared as long as possible, in order to ensure a long life.

In much of China, leaves also signify longevity. During New Year, families enjoy leafy greens like bok choy and mustard, served whole, to wish long lives to parents.

Citrus fruits also hold a place of honour on the Chinese New Year table, since they bring wealth, luck and status. This is because the Mandarin words for many types of citrus sound similar to prosperous words: gold and orange sound alike, as do tangerine and luck.

Wholeness is an important concept too. Not only does it mean a good beginning and end to the year, it also signifies completion in work and life.

Many foods are cooked and served whole at New Year – fish, chicken, duck and crab. Even citrus fruits are presented with the leaves and stems still in place, to signify wholeness and balance.

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