Sophie Blackall Illustration

Drawings and Snippets and Breaking News, (but more snippets than breaking news).

Friday, February 4, 2011

Gung Hey Fat Choy!

Happy Year of the Rabbit! Learned scholars assure us the rabbit will bring wisdom and kindness and calm to the year ahead. (He has his work cut out in Egypt.)

There are lots of very particular Chinese New Year traditions. Here are some of my favorites (a little late):

Before New Year's Eve, clean the entire house to get rid of any of last year's dirt (I wish!), then put all brooms and brushes out of sight. Pay all your debts (again... I wish), and resolve all outstanding quibbles with family, friends and neighbors.

Buy red things. And flowers. And red flowers.

Arrange oranges and tangerines and candy on circular trays.

Put fresh dollar bills in red envelopes.

On New Year's Eve reunite with close family. Eat dumplings. Pay respects to ancestors. Open all the windows to let out the old year.

On New Year's Day don't wash your hair. Don't sweep the floor. Don't cut anything. Don't drop your chopsticks. Don't say the number four or mention death. Don't borrow or lend money.

Wear red.

Give children two red envelopes because happiness comes in pairs.

Wish everyone Gung Hey Fat Choy!

Eat rabbit-shaped dumplings!


Nina said...

Dear Sophie, Gung Hey Fat Choy!

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

Right back at you! I love your rabbit moon, and so will Qiu when she wakes up from her nap.

Selina Alko said...

oh good, an excuse not to wash my hair!

(love this list, Sophie)

just jane said...

I am wiser now, after my visit to this beautiful post. I thank you, and wish you a very Happy New Year!

Meg Rosoff said...

Tell Eggy that Blue and Juno are in Suffolk with Paul, celebrating Chinese year of the rabbit in their own, very special, way.

We Blog Artists said...

Thanks Sophie for all your favourite traditions...we're going out with friends who have addopted 2 kids from good to know about the envelopes!
HUGS and Gung Hey Fat Choy!

tatjana said...

congratulations on your interview on NPR, I love your website (and work)
the big mysterious red door with bird sounds is awesome!