Conversation Starters & Chinese New Year

5 February 2015

Over the Chinese New Year [CNY] holidays, what everyone looks forward to is the social and family gatherings. If you have the pleasure of being invited to join a friend's family festivities or have your own family that you will be sharing the holidays with, you will want to make sure you are up to date with your Chinese New Year 'fun facts' and razzle dazzle your friends, family and new network connections with your CNY-Know-How. 

DID YOU KNOW

- TRADITIONALLY Chinese New Year celebrations used to last 15 days.

- MORE than one-third of the World, celebrates CNY.  China, Hong Kong, Brunei, South Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand and more. Also it is celebrated in Chinatowns all over the world.

- CLEAN UP! Because Chinese New Year is seen as the perfect time to do some spring cleaning.  Traditionally, it was believed that cleaning house for the new year’s celebrations swept bad luck away and helped ensure good fortune in the year to come.

- RED decorations are going to be pasted everywhere, because the colour red is considered to be one of the luckiest colours of all.  

- FOOD offered and eaten over CNY will be highly symbolic of happiness, prosperity, luck, fertility and long life during the Chinese New Year. Fish which sounds like "excess" or "surplus" (in Mandarin) is featured in all meals. Prosperity is also symbolised by oranges and black moss seaweed. Chicken and prawns are for happiness, pomelos represent fertility, and noodles are for long life. 

- LION & DRAGON dances are common during the Chinese New Year due to their association with the origin of the festival, where it is believed that the loud drumming and clashing of cymbals will chase away bad luck and evil spirits. 

- PAY UP! To ensure you're not ridden with debt in the new year, the Chinese believe that all outstanding bills and monies owed to friends and family members should be squared off before the Chinese New Year.

- STAY HAPPY. The Chinese believe that crying and wailing on the 1st day of the Chinese New Year will result in sad times for the remainder of the year. It is also poor form to start the new year by swearing, getting upset or blowing your top.

- LAISEE PLEASE! Red packets or envelops containing money is a super fun tradition (if you are the one receiving). Usually handed out by elders, married couples, and bosses to single adults and children. The amounts of money vary depending on the giver but custom dictates that the amount should be an even number, with the most popular being number 8, otherwise symbolizing "wealth". 

Gung Hei Fat Choi & Happy Networking!