The influence of the East is seen in Newark, New Jersey as many Newarkers have oriental decorations in their homes and gardens. No wonder there are so many adornments from the East with Chinese symbols since Chinese characters are like works of art. There are also numerous Chinese restaurants in Newark, New Jersey as well as in the entire country, for Americans certainly have a palate for Chinese food. February is a very special month for the Chinese people, for it is the Chinese New Year. Just like in the Western world, the Chinese have observed January 1st as their New Year’s Day since 1912, but they are also very proud of their cultural heritage and still celebrate their own New Year.
The Chinese New year started on February 8th, and it was a holiday in China. The Chinese people, who are very hard working, got a break from their jobs and spent time with family and friends on their holiday. In San Francisco, California, there is the largest Chinese New Year parade besides those that are held in Asia. Some traditional foods that Chinese people eat to celebrate the New Year are noodles that are symbolic of a long life. They also eat round dumplings, formed like the full moon, as a sign of family unification and flawlessness.
Spring Festival is another name for the Chinese New year; is it a weeklong holiday that gives the Chinese time to observe their New Year on these special days with family and friends. The younger generations of Chinese have incorporated more modern customs in their celebrations.
Every year the Chinese name the New Year after an animal from their zodiac. According Chinese astrology, this is the year of the monkey. Besides monkeys, there are other zodiac animals such as the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, rooster, dog and pig. In the Western world, the zodiac is based on the month and the day that you were born. In the East, the zodiac is based on the year that you were born. Each animal of the Chinese zodiac has its own distinct characteristics.
You do not have to believe in the Chinese zodiac to admire the monkey. All you have to do is look into the eyes of any child as they gaze at the monkeys in the zoo. Monkeys are the animals that resemble humans the most. They are energetic and adorable creatures. They are often involved in antics, and you never know what they will do next. In fact, monkeys are one of the favorite animals of the Chinese people. In Japan, tourists come to see the snow monkeys every year, especially on this year, the year of the monkey.
You may think that when your Chinese zodiac sign is the animal of the New Year then you will have good luck and prosperity. However, Chinese ancient myth states that this is false. Those whose zodiac sign is the monkey are advised to wear something red that an older family member gives them to ward off the bad luck. Some people believe that fate or superstition plays a role in their life; however, you are the one who holds the keys to your destiny. Just open the right doors and you will have a great year.