Jan 2017 - A Taste of Chinese New Year Traditions

Celebrating the arrival of the red rooster


‘Lo hei’, the thirty ladies of the MCG were happily tossing the Yee Sang (good luck salad) with their chop sticks, wishing each other health, happiness and prosperity. After an enlightening introduction into the traditions of the Chinese New Year by MCG members Marianne Khor and Rosemary Chin, we all tasted the traditional Yee Sang salad typically eaten in Malaysia and Indonesia during the festive season.




But before we were to savour this tasty dish made of thin slices of vegetables and raw fish, symbolising success, prosperity and abundance, the rooms of the Ciao Restaurant had to be cleared from all evil spirits. The Xuan Long Dragon and Lion Dance group performed this task with loud chiming, drumming and fierce dances of its two yellow lions. The young artists, two of them operating each lion from the inside, were showing impressive martial art moves and were enthusiastically accompanied by drums, cymbals and gongs.



We are now well prepared to celebrate the Chinese New Year, which according to the Chinese lunar calendar falls on the 28th of January 2017. The festivities to welcome the year of the red rooster will last for fifteen days and will centre on family reunions and the consumption of foods symbolising prosperity and good luck. During the manyvisits, elders will be greeted with tea and ‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’, the traditional Chinese New Year greeting. In return, children and unmarried family members will receive red money packets called ang pow. Be warned that there will be a lot of loud fireworks during the next couple of weeks, as only noise, bright colours and strange creatures will keep away the monsters that might lurk in the night. 


Fidelity and punctuality are the signs of the fire rooster and 2017 promises to be absolutely fantastic for the dragon. If you are interested to learn more about the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiacal circle and your personal horoscope go to www.gotohoroscope.com.



Gong xi fa cai everyone – and beware of sweeping on the first day of the Chinese New Year as you will sweep away your good luck!


Written by Caroline Streif

Pictures by Michelle Pease and Caroline Streif