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It's the Year of the Snake
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Chinese New Year

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You're in luck. You have another chance to dust off those (already!) forgotten New Year's resolutions, if you choose to celebrate the Chinese New Year on January 24th.

The Chinese astrological calendar follows a twelve-year lunar cycle, with each year named after an animal. This New Year ushers in the Year of the Snake. As with all New Years, it's a time for change and renewal, and a time to put aside the bad things of the previous year. Snake years are predicted to be a time for reassessing our personal situation regarding finances, career and relationships. It's also a mysterious year that suggests it pays to be cautious when making commitments. Further, this Snake year is the year of Snake Sleeping in Winter, which warns of a period of preparing for hard times ahead.

Obviously I'm not Chinese, but that won't stop me, and I hope won't stop you, from taking this opportunity to bring a little good luck into my life. Here are some of the Chinese traditions for welcoming the New Year and creating good luck in the year ahead, despite the potential foreboding of this particular Snake year.

  • Clean your home as thoroughly as possible during the days preceding the New Year to sweep away the bad luck of the year that's ending.
  • DO NOT clean your home during the first few days of the New Year, you do not want to risk sweeping away the good luck of the New Year.
  • Try to see as many of your family and friends as possible during the New Year celebration to spread good wishes for the coming year.
  • Serve and eat as many lucky foods as possible on the New Year. Some of these foods are a whole fish, noodles and mandarin oranges. If you're not adventurous enough to cook Chinese food, most Chinese restaurants offer special New Year menus.
  • Don't cry on that day or raise your voice to your children or you'll be setting a tone of discord for the coming year.
  • Decorate your home in red, the Chinese color for good luck.

If you'll be hosting a party, besides decorating with red, it will be easy to decorate with images of this year's animal.

  • Rubber snakes can be found in most toy stores. I would be careful to place them where they won't frighten your guests.

  • Or have your kids make these cute Spiral Snakes and hang them around your home.

  • Make breads or cookies in the shape of snakes.

  • Buy gummy snakes to add to your guests' dessert plates.

Happy New Year!

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