Gong Xi Fa Cai or Gong Hey Fat Choy! Whether you say it in Mandarin, Cantonese, another dialect or language, Happy Lunar New Year!
Mr. D and my immediate families don’t strictly observe this holiday, but many of our relatives and friends do. As a girl, I remember receiving the traditional red envelope, or hongbao, from godparents or my grandparents’ friends. And, of course, some kind of noodle dish is expected at dinnertime to represent long life. Hotels and restaurants would hang red lanterns and have dragon dancers going through their lobbies. Various special New Year treats and dishes would be on display around the city.
As my due date nears, Mr. D and I like to talk about and imagine not just what our little man will look like (since he refused to show his face for a 3D ultrasound image), but what his personality will be. Though we don’t take it seriously, it’s fun to look up the traits of people born under this Chinese horoscope Year possess. The Chinese horoscope is made up of twelve cycles, each associated with an animal: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. Each animal represents certain characteristics and propensities that play into how a person’s fortune plays out each year.
Our little girl was born in the Year of the Dragon—said to be a lucky year. People born under this sign are believed to be imaginative, charismatic, ambitious, and willing to take risks. As a Water Dragon, the dimensions of being persevering and long-sighted are added. Our girl is certainly that, and more. While the descriptions by no means encompass who she is, it kind of prepared us for the little ball of energy that she is.
The little man will be born in this Year of the Monkey. People born in this year are usually quick-witted, charming, mischievous, and clever. And, as this year is the year of the Fire Monkey, children are also known to be adventurous and adaptable. Already he’s moving and kicking a lot more than his sister did in the womb, keeping me up until 3am before finally settling down. Looks like we’ll have another handful to look forward to!
Do you and yours celebrate Lunar New Year? If you do, what’s your favorite part: the food, the fireworks, or just simply being around family?
In case you missed it, Mark Zuckerberg posted the sweetest New Year video with his wife, Priscilla, and their little girl, Max. They reveal Max’s Chinese name, a beautiful homage to her Chinese heritage. Bravo, Zuck!