Friday, January 20, 2023

Chinese New Year of Rabbit Celebration


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Chinese New Year Traditions

The Chinese New Year (also known as the Lunar New Year) begins on Sunday, January 22 and is the Year of the Rabbit for 2023. This holiday has been celebrated for approximately 3,500 years (apparently no one knows for certain) and will be honored for a week from January 21 - 27, 2023 around the world by families and friends (including millions of people young and old in the US) with a treasure trove full of beautiful Chinese customs, traditions, colorful decorations, parades, and delicious cuisine.

Chinese New Year Decorations

The Year of the Rabbit 2023

For twelve years the Chinese New Year rotates through a cycle associated with a dozen different animals according to the Chinese Zodiak. After the Year of the Rabbit, next year will be the Year of the Dragon. This will be followed in subsequent years by the Year of the Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig, Rat, Ox, and Tiger, before the Rabbit will once again be celebrated as the animal of the year.

Chinese Food, Decorations, Traditions

Though family traditions vary, among the traditional Chinese New Year foods which are typically served are Whole Fish, symbolic of prosperity for the year to come and Spring Rolls, representative of wealth. Chinese Dumplings, another delicacy associated with wealth, is also part of the food spread. 

Chinese New Year Year of Rabbit Money Tree

The holiday is traditionally lauded in public with fireworks, parades featuring colorful cultural icons, and festive large gatherings.  But the heart of the annual cultural celebration has always been at home, where extended families spanning multiple generations and friends gather around brightly decorated tables to enjoy the extensive array of food favorites together. 

Room and table decor often include decorative red paper lanterns, the classic money tree, live potted bamboo plants, as well as beautiful place settingsexquisite tablescapes, pretty paper centerpieces and even Year of the Rabbit Napkin Rings.

Chinese New Year Mom Dad Girl

Giving of Chinese Red Money Envelopes to family and friends is also customary, with the amount of money given based on the closeness of relationships. It's important to note that red is a color of great importance to this Asian culture, representing not only Good Luck  -- the message often printed in Chinese characters on these money envelopes -- but also wishes for much prosperity and happiness throughout the coming year.

Chinese New Year Easy Recipes

For some really good, simple Chinese New Year recipes be sure to check out MBE's post including Wonton Soup and Sweet Egg Tarts. Both this soup and the dessert tarts are made with tofu, but you can easily substitute with your favorite meat or other protein source.

Wonton Soup Tofu Vegan Recipe

A Special Mention of Gratitude

Thanks to my dear friend Meg for allowing me to share some of these photos you see in this story to give you a glimpse of how she celebrates the Chinese New Year with her family. Not only does she always set a beautiful tablescape, she is a wonderful hostess I truly admire. She really knows how to entertain for all kinds of Jewish holidays, too, and makes the best homemade kosher wonton chicken soup on the planet according to my husband. Thank you so much for everything, we look forward to enjoying many more celebrations with you.

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