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Happy new year

Happy new year (Photo credit: Amodiovalerio Verde)

… the Year of the Water Snake?Well, Happy New Year anyway.

They say the ‘Year of Snake’ symbolizes wealth and prosperity.

Especially if you were born in 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989 and 2001.

Off by one. Just my luck.

I went to the local Chinese Restaurant with a full service buffet … hoping to eat something that was on the “Lucky Food” list for Chinese New Year.

Like Sauerkraut and Pork … or Hoppin’ John … is for the January First New Year.

Except I didn’t check what the list might be before I went there … it was a spur of the moment thing … like “Hey, it would be cool to eat Chinese Food on Chinese New Year” … that type of thing.

So I had a Frogs Leg, Lychee Nuts, Sesame Cake, all kinds of Sushi, Hot and Sour Soup, tons of veggies plus a taste of just about everything else on the buffet that looked like it might bring good luck.

No harm covering all my bases.

Turns out they recommend eight or nine dishes in a Super Supper but …

Now I do the checking online only to find that the one thing I did not put on my plate (long noodles) is first thing I see on the Good Luck Food list.

Oh. Great.

Long noodles are served often during the New Year festivities. They shouldn’t be cut while you are eating them. “Keep them as long as possible for long life,” says Doris Lum, president of the Association of Chinese Cooking Teachers.

The complete food list includes –

Tangerines and Oranges (does orange jello count?)
Long Noodles (I knew I should have made room on the plate)
Tray of Togetherness (well it was at a buffet after all)
Nian gao (that sesame cake I had … if it had Dates in it that would mean early prosperity. It didn’t. I’m too old to qualify for early prosperity anyway.)
Pomelo (Lychee is a citrusy fruit … could that count?)
Jai (a vegetarian dish … and although I had a lot of vegetables, none of them was this.)
Long Leafy Greens and Long Beans. (Chinese Broccoli and Green Beans … yes … had them.)
Whole Fish (Had fish, shrimp, sushi, tuna, oysters, clams and squid. I think I’m covered here.)
Sweets (Well that was a no brainer.)
Yuanbao (Jiaozi) (Not sure the dumplings at the buffet qualified but …)

So it looks like I did about half or more on the Lucky Food list … quite by accident.

The Chinese display the ‘FU’ or ‘good luck’ symbol … upside down … which then looks like ‘dao’ or ‘arriving’. So you get good luck arriving. With my luck I’d do it the wrong way and get good luck leaving.

I decided not to take that chance. FU.

Dscn1163The one I liked the best included the one about getting a brand new broom on Chinese New Years because a “New Broom Sweeps Clean” … and I have been planning to get a new broom on Chinese New Year ever since I heard this saying and the explanation last summer.

And I did.

Plus a long-handled dust pan.

I did, however, miss the fine print which says you have to clean your whole house … top to bottom … to get rid of all the bad luck that  has accumulated in the past year.

Oh well, close isn’t bad.

They also do paper lanterns. Truth be told, I got a string of lights for Christmas this past year that resembled little red paper lanterns. But it didn’t get put up for the holidays.

You may recall the roof situation in that room.

It’s not going to make it for Chinese New Years either. Maybe next year.

Wearing red is also popular … and I did wear red yesterday after all … and last night … and it was Chinese New Years in China when I wore it. So I’m thinking that counts … sort of.

Then there is prayer.

On the 2nd day of the festival, businesses offer a ‘Hoi Nin’ prayer. They believe that by doing so, they will be blessed with good fortune and prosperity.

Note to Self: Pray Tomorrow.

How long is this festival anyway?

I already missed Shou Sui … staying up till midnight to welcome in the New Year. I didn’t know it was Chinese New Year until this morning. And if I did stay up that late last night … and I think I did … it was purely by accident.

I am also supposed to go around saying happy good luck kinds of things … like ‘gōng xǐ fā cái,’ which translates to “Congratulations and be prosperous.”

Why do I suddenly feel like a Star Trek rerun?

Oh well … ‘gōng xǐ fā cái,’ y’all.

Luck Medallion - Lantern Festival - Missouri B...

Luck Medallion – Lantern Festival – Missouri Botanical Garden (Photo credit: Tojosan)