I have always felt completely blessed to have grown up in a sort of multi-cultural environment. I could get all schmoopie about it and say I feel blessed because it has enriched me or taught me tolerance (I don't care much for that word but I am too full to blog on about why) and that I am a better person for it.
But really, it all has to do with food.
Love to eat.
Love to eat different foods.
So, when I suggested to the group here at work that we celebrate Chinese New Year today, it wasn't just because I wanted to motivate the group or promote teamwork. It was because I wanted to munch on some dimsum and spring rolls.
good call. Thuy makes some damn fine spring rolls.
But, while munching on dimsum (the delightful little suprise package of foods), I've been learning lots of fun stuff about Chinese New Year from some of my co-wokers.
First, is that 2006 is the Year of the Dog...eccentric indeed.
Also, 2006 is known as bingxu. In the 'Stem-Branch' system, the years are named in 60-year cycles, and the Name of the Year is repeated every 60 years. 2006 is the 7th year in the current 60-year cycle.
It is Year 4703 by the Chinese calendar.
The custom of drums and fireworks during New Year's dates back to the legend of a ferocious man-eating monster, named Nian. The people finally killed the monster by stunning it with the sounds of all the villagers striking drums or lighting fireworks. Stupid dragon.
Luck plays a big part in New Year's celebrations, customs, and superstitions. The Chinese word for luck is Fu. Luck is celebrated with lots and lots of gambling, which apparently has already started. During the New Year's celebrations, you can walk into any Chinese (or in the case of my office, Vietnamese) household and the entire family is gambling. And eating.
I am one FUfy girl. Now, pass the hoisin sauce.