The following blog was written by the Livingston Public Library.
Will your family celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year?
The Chinese New Year is on Friday, Jan. 31, and begins the Year of the Horse.
Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came — horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, pig, rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon and snake — so Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality.
Thus, those born in horse years are cheerful, skillful with money, perceptive, witty, talented and good with their hands.
Gung Hay Fat Choy means, "Best wishes and Congratulations. Have a prosperous and good year."
If you are unfamiliar with Chinese celebrations and Chinese culture you can learn more at Livingston Public Library!
The library has a display — in both English and Chinese — of books, magazines, movies and music from and about China and Chinese culture. The display includes titles for adults and children, including novels, cookbooks, travel books, Chinese history and much more.
Chinese New Year marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It is a time for family reunions, for honoring ancestors and for thanking the gods for their blessings.
Families make great preparations for this special celebration. Before the New Year, the house is cleaned and special dishes are prepared. Homes are filled with flowers and fruit. Blossoms symbolize longevity and courage and a popular belief is that flowers blooming on New Year’s Day bring good fortune for the next year. Special candies that signify growth, good health, abundance and togetherness are offered. They include candied melon, coconut, lotus seed and watermelon seed.
Scrolls or poems are hung on walls or doorways to carry messages of good health, luck, long life, prosperity, and happiness. A popular one reads, “May everything be according to your wishes.”
On the seventh day of the New Year everyone adds a year to their age no matter when they were born. In traditional China, individual birthdays were not considered as important as this New Year’s date.
Livingston Public Library is proud to have one of the largest Chinese language collections in New Jersey, with over 3,000 books, over 600 Chinese language DVDs and books on CD, and more than 30 magazines written in Chinese.