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Happy Chinese New Year Welcome to my first Blog on my new Face Book Page and new website Elaine Collins Acupuncture and Wellbeing “Gong Xi Fa Cai” - Happy New Year ! Did you know? The Chinese New Year begins on 8th February 2016 and ends on 27th January 2017. China celebrate the new Year for 15 days beginning on the 8th February. The celebrations begin on the second new moon after the winter solstice and ending on the full moon 15 days later - the beginning of the spring harvest. Chinese astrology has been around for thousands of years, and there are similarities and differences between Chinese and Western astrology. Chinese astrology has twelve signs, just like Western astrology. The Chinese zodiac follows a twelve year cycle, each of the years being named after an animal. The Chinese believe that people born in a particular year take on the characteristics of the animal associated with that year. This year is the year of the Monkey. People born in the year of the Monkey are lively, quick-witted, curious, innovative and mischievous. [ I know a few cheeky monkeys.....namely my nieces Niamh and Gracie and nephew Josh....albeit they weren't born in the Monkey year but sum up the character of the Monkey ! Chinese New Year Traditions There are many traditions during the New Year celebrations. I have been lucky enough to have been in Asia leading up to the Chinese New Year both this year and last year. The villages, towns and cities are awash with red Lanterns. This is a symbol of luck and prosperity and by hanging them it means “ lighting the way” for good luck, a good harvest and prosperity for the coming year. Leading up to and during Chinese New Year red and gold colors are plentiful. The color red symbolizes luck and is believed to ward away evil. It is custom that family elders give children a red envelope containing money at New Year. This red envelope is given to the children as a blessing and symbolizes prosperity. Yellow and gold are considered the most beautiful of colors and Chinese believe that these colors generate Yin and Yang, therefore it is the centre of everything. Yellow symbolizes neutrality and good luck. On New Year’s day families come together and have a lavish feast - the main dish being fish as this symbolizes abundance, affluence and prosperity. This evening to celebrate Chinese New Year I will be enjoying a dinner of sea bass with sizzled ginger, chilli & spring onions ! yummy :) Well, thats the end of my first blog. I hope you have found it interesting. Happy Chinese New Year and wish you a happy , healthy prosperous coming year. Elaine