Celebrate the Fertile Chinese New Year with Traditional Rituals
Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut, (RMACT) has three fertility acupuncturists on board as part of our Integrated Fertility and Wellness Program (IFW).
Amy Matton, MS, LAc, Jing Zhang, MS, LAc. and Elaine Malin, MTCM, L.Ac each contributed to today’s blog as well as last week’s blog, ushering in the Chinese New Year. This week’s blog is about how the new year is prepared for and some of the traditions associated with this holiday. Perhaps we use some of this wisdom from another culture to celebrate this special Chinese time of the year and to see where it relates back to more familiar holiday customs.
Special thanks to Jing Zhang, for sharing with us her memories of family rituals that she cherishes. ~ Lisa Rosenthal
Several Chinese New Year Traditions for Good Luck
About a week before the New Year, people do a complete cleaning of the house and housewares. They do things like dusting the walls, ceilings and furniture, washing the curtains, windows and cookingware. The cleaning indicates sweeping off and away all the bad luck that was in the past and welcoming in the new good luck.
Chinese New Year Food
The New Year's Eve dinner is the most important dinner of the year for the Chinese. It's the family reunion dinner, much like Thanksgiving is here in the United States. Fish will be served because it represents "Abundance”. Sticky rice cake is a popular dessert because it sounds like “Better Year after Year".
The first meal on New Year’s Day in northern China is always dumplings. Usually the ladies of the family will make the dumplings together right after 12:00 pm on New Year’s Eve. Because the shape of the dumplings looks like ancient Chinese money, so it is taken to mean "Fortune"!
The Color Red
The color red has great significance in Chinese culture. Red Packets and fireworks are both used to usher in the New Year. According to tales and legends, the evil called Nian (year) in Chinese would come on the first day of the New Year to devour livestock and other living beings, especially children. The color red also symbolizes fire. So Nian was afraid of the color red. Thus every time New Year is approaching, people will hang red lanterns and dress in red to ward off evil. Fireworks are used to drive away the evil and to celebrate the coming of the New Year. The fireworks will start right after 12:00 pm of the New Year’s Eve.
There is a Red Packet, which is a small red envelope with money placed in it. It will be given by adults and the elderly to young children during the 15 New Year days.
People believe that the red color of the envelope will restrain the evil from the children, keeping them healthy and giving them a long life.
If you were born in this animal year, for good luck, you would wear something in the red color. Like a red hair band, belt, bracelet, or socks.
About Lisa Rosenthal
Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.