Chinese New Year officially begins on February 5th, 2019 (a date that changes each year) and marks the beginning of the Spring Festival, a celebration which continues for several days. This year is the year of the pig, the twelfth character in the Chinese zodiac animals. The traits of those born under this sign are compassion, generosity and sincerity of character.
Traditionally, lanterns are used in New Year decorations because they are seen as a connection to the heavens and bring good luck. Firecrackers and decking your home in red, as I did for my little tablescape, are said to scare away the legendary monster, Nian. It is also tradition to eat dumplings for the New Year’s Eve celebration, which Nathan and I thoroughly enjoyed this weekend. I also made a traditional Sichuan dish, Dan Dan Noodles. Some of the literal translations for wishing one a ‘Happy New Year’ are quite poetic and lovely, being ‘respectful congratulations on the New Year’ and ‘to record the happiness from the new spring.’