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Something else

This page will be updated regularly talking about something else. Not research, not personal development, not CV but something I find interesting and am willing to share.

18/01/14 About the Chinese New Year

As the world is becoming a melting pot, the Chinese New Year is no longer a foreign term. I was surprised the first time I heard about the Chinese New Year Parade in London and later on, most foreigners I met told me they knew in which year they were born, in a sense of a rabbit year, a snake year and the rest of the 12 animals. Talking about year-animal, it's horse year ahead and it's my year. In Shanghai and I guess many places across China, we have the tradition to wear something red or gold during our ‘own year' as we call 'ben ming nian'. I don't know where the tradition came from but once my mother told me, 'ben ming nian' will be full of changes and it’s better to have something bearing blessings as ‘good luck’ ‘all the best’ and ‘good fortune’. There must be hundreds of explanations but this is my mother’s version.

New Year’s Day is 31st January this year. As some traditional Chinese festivals follow the lunar calendar, the date is changing year by year. On New Year’s Eve, the family will get together and have a big dinner with particular food such as ‘fish’, ‘chicken’, ‘pork’, ‘duck’ and some winter vegetables. My grandparents will light the candles and conduct a short ceremony to memorize ancestors right before midnight. This tradition varies family to family. At midnight, when the clock strikes 12, the whole neighbourhood will be lit by crackers, fireworks, and sometimes, if lucky, a thin layer of snow.