Gong xi fa cai! (Or Kung hei fat choy! if you’re speaking Cantonese.) The eighth of February on year 2016 is the first day of a new year according to the Chinese calendar.
The annual celebration of Chinese New Year sees endless baked treats and other savoury delights being sold, served and consumed by Chinese communities in Malaysia throughout the 15-day festive period. Kuala Lumpur becomes an empty, shops closed, same goes with restaurants.
∴ The Red Envelop
There are, of course, many delicious and luxurious food to savour in utter delight. I still remember in 2014, Chinese New Year felt on a working day, we all received a red envelop from our managers with some money inside. This symbolic tradition comes with a Chinese new year gold red decoration with the writing “年年有余 (nian nian you yu)” meaning “abundance of everything every year”.
∴ It’s all about Mandarin and Pineapples tart!
Ever wondered why the exchange of Mandarin Oranges is so important, and why there would always be pineapple tarts in each home?
Exactly eight pineapple tarts.
Mandarin Oranges are believed to bring prosperity thanks to its Cantonese pronunciation, which sounds similar to gold. It is part of Chinese New Year tradition to offer a pair of Mandarin Oranges to respected seniors and hosts during house visiting
The repetition of Chinese New Year Goodies is no random occurrence, as each snack is essentially symbolic of a meaningful purpose. The next time someone in the family asks, “Why do we always have to eat xxx during Chinese New Year?”
∴ The Number 8.
Eight is a number favoured by the Chinese because it sounds similar to the word “wealth”. Nine and ten are also considered good numbers because they mean “infinity” and “perfection” respectively. If you closely observe Chinese paintings of koi fish, horses, deities, or dragons, there would always be eight, nine, or ten subjects in a painting.
EIGHT The number 8 symbolizes good luck and wealth because the Chinese word for 8 sounds like the Chinese word for fortune or wealth.
Now, I would like to wish everyone.
Happy new year, gong xi fa cai! Wish you one smooth sailing, two dragons soaring, three lambs good luck, four seasons peace, five blessings nearing, six big accomplishments, seven stars shining, eight sides prosperity, nine always together, ten perfection. (Note: The words “nine” and “infinity” sound similar; ten is a perfect number.)