Chinese New Year is in a week. This year, it falls on Monday, January 23rd, 2012 and it’s the year of the Dragon. You know those placemats you get at Chinese restaurants with the Zodiac calendar and what animal you are by your year of birth? Well, for all you 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, and 2012 birthdays, it’s your year! Sorry I didn’t go beyond 1940, I don’t know what age group reads this lol
Chinese New Year is the most important traditional Chinese holiday. It’s a day full of celebration and feasting, it’s a day (and it’s usually on a Sunday or the eve before actual Chinese New Year) in the U.S. because we aren’t actually in Asia to get the days off because it’s not an official holiday here. In Asian countries, it’s a week-long celebration where workers get the entire week off (which is why if you notice that if you order something around Chinese New Year, they say something along the lines of how it’ll be delayed because of the Chinese holiday).
You traditionally get red envelopes (hong bao) on Chinese New Year from your relatives and parents. Young children receive them from their parents and relatives and typically, once you move out, get married, or have a job, that’s when you return the favor and give your parents a red envelope. The red symbolizes good luck and is supposed to ward off evil spirits. My parents give me a red envelope every year. The amount of money inside is typically generous and traditionally, it should end in an even number. An odd number is bad and if it ends in 44 it’s bad too (because the way you say 44 in Chinese sounds like you’re saying “die”).
Okay now your history lesson is done. I tried to summarize it but if you want the full story on it, go here to read about Chinese New Year, here to read about red envelopes, or here to read about the sayings in Chinese.
Since Chinese New Year is in a week and since I celebrate it, I would like you to get in on the excitement of Chinese New Year too and feel what it’s like to get a red envelope!
Update: 1/23/2012: *drumroll please*
The winners are:
Congratulations Cassie and Megan!! Please email me at julie [at] tablefortwoblog dot com and let me know which store’s giftcard you prefer: Crate and Barrel, Sur La Table, or Williams & Sonoma. And of course, you have 48 hours to give me your information :)
Update 1/20/2012, 11:59PM EST: THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.
Here’s what I’m going to do:
I’m going to send TWO (2) lucky readers a red envelope with something special inside. It will be of monetary value (hint: a gift card to somewhere that I know all foodies love).
Here’s how to enter:
1. Leave a comment on this post telling me what your Chinese zodiac sign is (hint: just google “Chinese zodiac sign for ####”).
Want extra entries to increase your odds of winning??
1. Follow me on Twitter (@tablefortwoblog) and leave a separate comment that you did or already are and leave your Twitter handle (@username).
2. Tweet the following: “I just entered to win a red envelope from @tablefortwoblog! Enter here: http://wp.me/p1Z0VW-q1!” Leave a separate comment that you did.
3. Like me on Facebook (here) and leave a separate comment that you did or already are and leave your Facebook page or Facebook name.
4. Subscribe to Table for Two in your Google Reader. Leave a separate comment that you did or already are.
Giveaway ends at 11:59PM (EST) on Friday, January 20th, 2012. Open to U.S. residents only. Two (2) winners will be chosen at random from all the comments posted on this post using random.org. Make sure you do the mandatory entry for the giveaway. The extra entries are optional (but definitely increases your odds of winning!). I will contact the winners early morning on Monday, January 23rd, 2012 and also announce them on this entry. The winners will have 48 hours from when I send the email to contact me with their information otherwise I will select new winners.
This giveaway is fully funded by me and me only. There are no affiliates.