February 3rd marked the beginning of Chinese New Year and the year of the rabbit–or hare. Specifically the metal rabbit.
So, for all of you folks who are expecting a bundle of joy between now and January 22, 2012, here are some characteristics your child should have: creativity, compassion, and sensitivity. Rabbits are friendly, outgoing and prefer the company of others, but also avoid conflict. They are supposed to be calmer and more serene, but also can be taken advantage of and have some self-esteem issues. However, metal rabbits are supposed to be a little more resilient and determined. Good career choices include politicians or diplomats, and writers, publishers, actors, fashion designers, therapists, doctors, and teacher. So make like a tiger mom and start pushing your kids that way.
When I was a kid, celebrating the New Year included eating a lot of delicious Chinese food like dumplings, noodles and oranges, honoring our ancestors with some incense and possibly burning paper money in the back yard. I also used to get “lucky money” — cash in a small red envelope decorated with a pretty picture of ancient Chinese guys. Those days are over. Since cooking big meals during the week makes me want to hang myself, I’ll be making dumplings over the weekend and I won’t be getting any cash money from old relatives because, well, they’ve all gone onto the afterlife. However, I did wear red(dish) on the 3rd which is a traditional celebratory color, as well as a long-cherished jade necklace. (Celebrations should not involve receiving anything like this hideousness.)
If you didn’t celebrate on the 3rd, you’re in luck because the celebrations go on for days and days. Which means this weekend you should all go out and indulge in some tasty Chinese morsels. A few suggestions: Szechuan Tokyo, China Pan or stop by A Dong Asian Market (giggle at name here) for some pastry treats, duck, and other Asian delicacies. You can also check out and share the slightly inappropriate Chinese New Year cards on someecards that the Anti- Couric has been sending me all morning. Or, just go around wishing everyone “xīn nián kuài lè”.