After living in Hong Kong, I’m always aware of the Chinese New Year! So, Happy New Year... Year of the Horse! I lived there during two Chinese New Years and they were my favorite holidays observed there. Based on the lunar calendar, the fifteen day celebration started yesterday and ushers out the year of the water snake and in the year of the wooden horse. Feng shui masters say the year of the horse may be tough for any negotiating because people stand firm in their beliefs and convictions. If this is true, I guess Congress won’t be getting much work done this year either!
The decorations are spectacular, we always had the most beautiful pink flowering plum trees in the lobby of our apartment building. Flowers are an important part of the New Year Celebration. Plum blossoms symbolize courage and hope, narcissus, good luck and fortune, and tangerines and oranges are displayed as a sign of wealth and luck. Flowering plum and mandarin trees adorn many homes, businesses and temples throughout Hong Kong.
Everyone is the the holiday spirit similar to the Christmas spirit here. The celebration lasts for many days and has different phases, where different customs are observed. One is the ever popular Lie See envelopes. These small red envelopes you tuck money inside are adorned with symbols for good fortune and luck, and sometimes have cartoon characters because it is a tradition to give them to children. Work colleagues or people in business relationships give them to each other too. As is the custom, to not forget all the service people that help you throughout the year.
The parades, Lion Dance and acrobatic performances and fireworks are spectacular, and are not to be missed! All around a beautiful, festive, fun time of year.