Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Good juju for the (Chinese) new year.

Happy Chinese New Year! This is the year of the Dragon which is said to be very auspicious. I'm not going to lie. I actually had to look that one up in the dictionary. It just sounded like one of those words people throw around without really understanding what it means. Like "atrophy" or "pedantic". Anyway, in case you're wondering:

aus-pi-cious [aw-spish-uhs]
1. promising success; propitious; opportune; favorable.

And here I thought it sounded mysterious!

(PS, propitious means favorable, so that's redundant [unnecessary repetition]. No sense going into these auspicious times pretending to know words we don't!)

The story I heard on NPR yesterday about the Chinese New Year made it sound like so much fun (feasting and family and fireworks, oh my!) I decided we should celebrate too. So I grabbed a few things at World Market (that place is such a gem), looked for an easy sweet & sour tofu recipe, printed out our horoscopes, queued up some traditional Chinese jams on Spotify and got ready to give Liam one heck of an after school surprise.

He was definitely surprised. ("You mean all this stuff is just ours? Like, if we wanted to celebrate the Chinese New Year again next year we could just get these things out and be ready to celebrate?!") He was so excited. At least until I told him that part of our celebration would involve eating Chinese food for dinner...

But (drumroll please...), he actually liked it! He wouldn't admit that he liked it but I know how to read his non-verbal cues.

As for little Finn, he LERVED it. And at one point even tried strapping it to his face like a feed bag.

When I told Liam I thought that was a totally acceptable way to eat in Chinese culture (bringing the bowl close to your mouth and using chopsticks to guide the food in), he was blown away. "You mean Finny knows how to eat like they did in the Chinese times? How does he know that?!"

Maybe it's a Metal Tiger thing...

The Tiger symbolizes bravery, competitiveness and unpredictability. Tigers love to be challenged and don’t worry about the outcome because they know they’ll always land on their feet. Tigers are generous, intelligent and born to lead. They are also very charming and are well-liked by others.

Metal Tigers (2010) are assertive, competitive and sharp. Once Metal Tigers set their sights on their goals there’s no stopping them. They prefer to be in the center of attention and will do whatever they need to do to stay there.

Ain't no party like a Metal Tiger party...

Liam was born in the year of the Dog. Specifically, the year of the Fire Dog...

The Dog symbolizes loyalty, compatibility and kindness. Dogs are great friends, frequently offering kind words and useful advice. Dogs are determined, always wanting to master something before moving on. Dogs are honest, trustworthy, reliable, and have strong morals and ethics. A happy Dog is a healthy Dog.

Fire Dogs (2006) are true leaders. Others enjoy being in the company of Fire Dogs. They’re attractive, charismatic, vibrant and confident.

Bill and I are both Snakes (although he had to miss our celebration because he was out of town, boo).

My chopsticks smelled funny so I put them in my hair.

The Snake symbolizes intelligence, gracefulness and materialism. Snakes are extremely analytical and don’t like to jump in to decisions without much thought. Snakes are effective at getting what they want. They prefer to surround themselves with the finest that life has to offer as it helps them seek the peace they need in order to thrive. Snakes prefer to live a life of calmness.

Fire Snakes (1977) are more extroverted, offering opinions and telling others what’s on their minds. Even so, others enjoy listening to Fire Snakes. They’re persuasive and good at convincing others that their ways are best.

Whether or not you believe in stuff like that, it definitely makes for good dinner conversation. As do fortune cookies...

(Especially fortune cookies covered in dark chocolate.)

After we ate and cleaned up and put Finn to bed, Liam and I went out back to light a few sparklers. Fireworks are supposed to scare away evil spirits and misfortunes, preventing them from coming into the new year. We already did this on New Year's Eve but had plenty left over for our Chinese celebration.

(American) new year.

We enjoyed celebrating the Chinese New Year so much, we're going to do it again tonight (with Dada, woohoo!). I think throwing a little positive energy toward something so auspicious will earn us heaps of good juju all year long (plus, what a fun tradition!). Not that we need it or anything...

"While the Snake may have enjoyed comfortable happiness last year, this year will offer much more success."

Bring it.

Wishing you prosperity, longevity, happiness and success!

{PS - aren't Metal Tiger and Fire Dog the best band names EVER?!}


Anonymous said...

Can we come? Lol! Heading to World Market tomorrow...better late than never for this lazy mom of two Chinese kids.

No Mommy Brain said...

lucky for you it lasts a couple weeks. you're right on time! ; )