“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” – Oprah Winfrey
The ox, tiger, and rabbit all agree – it is time for the rat to move along. Today officially marks the end of the year of the rat, as the 2009 Chinese New Year (or lunar Chinese year 4707) introduces the Year of the Ox. It is believed that those born on the year of the ox are dependable, trust worthy and patient. Coincidentally, President Obama was born an ox. With such great strengths tied to those born on the year of the ox, we can’t help but feel anticipation for 2009.
The Chinese New Year, the biggest Chinese holiday, lasts for several days and is celebrated throughout the world – often where large Chinese populations exist. Traditionally, during the Chinese New Year, elder members of a family give money wrapped in a red envelope to children, teenagers and young adults. If the likelihood of you receiving a red envelope is looking pretty slim, don’t despair. There are plenty of activities occurring all week that will allow you to partake in the rich traditions of the Chinese New Year.
Today, New York’s Chinatown will have their annual Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural festival as well as their New Year’s Parade and Festival on Feb 1. San Francisco’s ChinaTown hosts the Chinese New Year Parade and Festival on Feb 7, a parade that is voted one of the top 10 parades in the world. Also, Vancouver’s ChinaTown will host a parade on Feb 1 as well as a Chinese New Year’s Festival in the Vancouver Chinese Gardens. Those living in the Austin area will be heading over to the recently reviewed Imperia, for their fun Chinese New Year celebration.
If going out on the town isn’t really your thing, you can participate in the Chinese New Year from the comfort of your own home. Invite some of your pals over and cook up an Asian inspired meal in honor of the Year of the Ox. Food and Wine magazine has put together a list of their top 10 Chinese recipes, that are sure to impress like the tofu dumplings and peppercorn shrimp pictured above.
Whether you flock to the streets to participate in the Chinese New Year parades or simply savor a fortune cookie this week, we hope the Year of the Ox inspires you to hope for something great in 2009.
image source: nytimes.com, foodandwine.com