A Hope from Chinese New Year Celebration

The Chinese New Year (Yuan Tan) is January 23, 2012, this year.  The Chinese New Year is a day filled with hope because it is a day when Chinese debts are paid, accounts settled, and grudges forgotten.

Because “red” is a symbol of happiness to all Chinese, the Chinese decorate their homes in red for the Chinese New Year.  On the Eve of Yuan Tan, many family dinners include fish, one of the Chinese symbols for prosperity.

Yuan Tan is also a time of gift-giving.  During the Chinese New Year celebration, lai see are given as gifts.  Lai see are small red envelopes that contain money or special wishes.

Similar to American Greeting cards, these envelopes, with gold calligraphy decorations, are given to special friends to express wishes for their good luck and happiness.

The Chinese New Year is the most important holiday celebrated by Chinese all over the world.  As part of the happy celebration, windows and doors have good luck seals placed over them.

The banner-like seals convey positive wishes for Good Luck, Long Life, and Good Health, etc.  On Yuan Tan morning, Chinese children break the banner-like seals.

One Chinese seal says, “See joy when you raise your head.”  It quickly became one of my favorite sayings.  The saying also reminds me of a new blogging friend, Perennial Optimist Kate Kresse at Believe Anyway, http://believeanyway.wordpress.com.

Kate recently initiated a new project called The Joy Forwarding Project, in which A Hope for Today is currently participating.  Kate will be sharing more about this project in the near future; but, for now, I understand that Kate is simply asking people to forward or send joy to others.

Even though I am not Chinese, I am sending Kate my version of a lai see–this blog post with an early, special wish for her personal happiness and good luck with The Joy Forwarding Project.

May Kate and everyone who participates in the project find ways to share much joy with others.  May anyone who reads this post…

In honor of the Chinese New Year, you may also want to send someone a special wish or lai see.  You can send your hope for them to have joy, love, peace, good luck, long life, good health, prosperity, and many wonderful things.  People don’t have to be Chinese to share such a wonderful, positive tradition.

新年快乐    and        新年快樂

Below is a YouTube video about printing lai see envelopes.

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