About Chinese New Year of the Rooster

chilli-peanut-longevity-noodles-3-(2)[5]According to the Chinese zodiac, 2017 is the Year of the Rooster, and the New Year started on 28th January 2017.

If you were born in 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005 or 2017 you are a Rooster! Look out for your lucky signs:

Lucky numbers: 5, 7, and 8 Lucky days: the 4th and 26th of any Chinese lunar calendar month Lucky colours: gold, brown, and yellow Lucky flower: Gladiolus Lucky directions: south, southeast Lucky months: the 2nd, 5th, and 11th 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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