The beginning of the next Chinese New Year falls on Saturday, January 28, inspiring celebrations in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community during the surrounding days and weeks.
The exact date of the occasion varies because the Lunar schedule has 13 months that are a few days shorter than those of the Gregorian (Western) calendar. The holiday marks a transition from the year of the Ram into the year of the Rooster in the Chinese zodiac.
People can typically expect bad luck during the years associated with their astrological symbol. However, the next few months might spell even worse misfortune for those born under the sign of the rabbit, according to an expert in the practice of Feng Shui, Master Sean Shono.
2017 would be characterized by the elements of fire and, to a lesser extent, metal, Shono told the Asian Journal. That combination is normally a “symbol of optimism, innovation and progress,” but clashes with the sign of the rabbit.
Shono added that the Year of the Fire Rooster would be a potentially prosperous one for business and industry, especially those associated with aviation, energy, entertainment and finance.
He also warned that disharmony in international relations might persist. However, the influence of the elements fire and metal could promote open-mindedness and inspire people to find innovative solutions.
He went on to predict that 2017 would be a good year to travel or relocate, but warned people born under the sign of the tiger to avoid heading west, the direction of the Grand Duke.
People whose birthdays are associated with the astrological symbols of the dragon, snake and ox are entering a “year of harmony,” according to Shono.
No matter what stars people were born under, whatever their ethnicity might be and wherever they are in the world, the Lunar New Year is an occasion to appreciate the past year with the company of loved ones while enjoying a variety of traditional customs and festivities.
Families typically kick off more than two weeks of revelry with a reunion dinner on the eve of the holiday. Traditional dishes include noodles or mustard greens, which are good omens for a long lifespan, and fish, or yu, which is a homophone for prosperity in Mandarin.
It is also customary to thoroughly clean one’s home before the New Year in order to clear out bad energy. However, preparations ought to be finished before merrymaking begins in order to allow good fortune to enter a house.
Various cities in Southern California — which boasts one of the largest Chinese populations in the country — will have a host of celebrations.
On Saturday, January 28, the city of Santa Monica will put on a Lunar New Year celebration at the 3rd Street Promenade showcasing dragon and ribbon dancers, stilt walkers, glutinous rice sculptures and more.
The city of Los Angeles will host one of Chinatown’s oldest traditions, the 118th annual Golden Dragon Parade beginning at 12 pm on Saturday, February 4. The iconic festival will feature attractions for all ages including a craft beer garden, street food, as well as storytelling, face-painting and paper-folding activities for children.
A street fair in Alhambra on Saturday, February 11 will have 250 food and craft booths as well as musicians, dancers, and kung fu demonstrations on two stages. The event takes place on Valley Boulevard, between Almansor and Vega streets.
In the Philippines, revelers will steam and eat immeasurable amounts of tikoy, the Filipino interpretation of a sticky rice cake called nian gao in Mandarin, or nin gou in Cantonese, that is popular during the Lunar New Year. The Pinoy version of the dish is often infused with regional flavors like ube (purple yam)
Filipinos take the event as an opportunity to honor one’s ancestors in celebrations akin to those of All Saint’s Day.
Manila’s Binondo enclave is set to lead other locales across the island nation in welcoming the Year of the Fire Rooster Filipino-Chinese and non-Chinese revelers are also expected to flock to the world’s oldest Chinatown on Saturday to join the festive celebration filled with elaborate dragon and lion costumes manned by multiple people that will parade through the streets and the sounds of drums, cymbals and firecrackers that will fill the air.