Chinese New Year Trivia

By | January 22, 2012

1)

Gong Xi Fa Cai, as many mistakenly believe is, not Happy New Year. It means I Wish You Prosperity.

2)

Dumplings are synonymous with prosperity. It is believed that the more you consume the delicacy, the wealthier you would become.

3)

Sweet food items are usually served in a tray consisting of 8 portions.  Apart from symbolizing unity and togetherness and unity, the number 8 is traditionally considered a lucky number.

4)

Noodles signify long life. You’re supposed to be consuming them in the length they come. If you cut them to make swallowing manageable, you run the risk of shortening your life.

5)

One should really be quiet and not say anything while making the nian gao, customarily offered to the Kitchen God before his return to Heaven to present his report on each household to the Jade Emperor. A slip of the tongue is not going to put you in the good books of the God.

6)

What are the differences between five-clawed, four-clawed and three-clawed dragons in ancient China? Not all dragons are created equal in ancient China, though the winged creature was an emblem for the Emperor and royals. During  the Zhou Dynasty, the five-clawed dragon signified the Son of Heaven (Emperor), the four-clawed were the nobles and three-clawed were represented the ministers.

7)

We mentioned that Westerners portrayed the dragon as an evil beast.  Not all Westerners think of dragons as malevolent though.The Scandinavians, for instance, thought highly of dragons. They worshipped and revered the creature which inspired the design of their famed war boats. Of  course these vessels bore the names of venerated dragons.  

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