Celebrate Chinese New Year

Living in the Philippines, a beautiful hodgepodge of cultures and races, has its own perks. Aside from our local tradition, we also observe various festivals celebrated by foreign communities residing here. With the country’s mission to respect and tolerate every one’s beliefs, religions, and races, the government leads the nation to accept the diversified culture only found in the Pearl of the Orient.

Since Spanish regime, Chinese started flocking the archipelago and over time, the influx of these Asian foreigners paved the way for the creation of Chinese communities all over the Philippines. Due to intermarriages among Filipinos, these communities continue to grow. With the increase of population, Chinese communities started to become one mighty social and economic entity in the country. Its culture and tradition gradually became amalgamated with Filipinos’ while Chinese and Filipino-Chinese businessmen continue to help driving the Philippine economy. As one big foreign group in the Philippines, Chinese has influenced the country in so many ways. An example of this is the celebration of the Lunar New Year.

Lanterns are hung in a Chinese temple ahead of Chinese New Year celebrations in Kuala Lumpur

The Filipino-Chinese communities celebrate Chinese New Year hoping for prosperity, peace, love, and harmony among family. Usually, they prepare lucky money slid inside a red envelope (Hong Bao/ Ang Pao), eat sticky rice cakes and fruits, and watch/participate in dragon dances performance.

If you have a Chinese friend or someone who has Chinese blood, how would you like to celebrate Lunar New Year with this person? What gifts would you like to give him/her?

HOW TO CELEBRATE CHINESE NEW YEAR

Go to China Town and join the festivities

Wear something red

tikoy

Prepare sticky rice cakes and share with family and friends

If you are young, greet someone older with “Xin Nian Hao” and expect to receive small cash inside a red envelope marked with Chinese characters

Visit Seng Guan temple

Watch a parade in China Town or Binondo

dragon dance

Be one of those strong dancers lifting the head or body of the dragon/lion

Watch beautiful firework displays in China Town

GIFT IDEAS FOR THE CHINESE NEW YEAR

Hong Bao / Ang Pao

hong bao

This is probably the best and easiest gift to be prepared. Just buy those red-colored envelopes elaborately decorated with gold and black characters and insert bills. A tip – better give bills in an even number for good luck: 500, 600, 1000. Never hand out a 400 or anything with 4 as this is bad luck though.

Alcohol

mou tai

Impress your friends with your fine taste and knowledge about the best sought-after alcohol in China. If you can find Mou Tai, a liquor from Baijiu brand, it is rumored that you can easily become closer with your Chinese friends. As the authentic version of this legendary drink can be quite pricey and difficult to get even in China, you can be assured that this gift will be highly appreciated and well-remembered.

Tea

Green Tea

Chinese people mostly prefer tea than water so it is probably good to add more to their stock of beverage.

music note tea strainer

As giving in pairs means good luck, include this very cute and affordable tea strainer I found from Lazada, a Philippine online shop.

Supplements and Herbs

chinese herbs

Nourish the body and prolong the life of your Chinese friends by gifting supplements and herbs. It can be a ginger root, Chinese jujube, black sesame seeds and any of those found in Chinese herbal stores.

New Clothes

Chinese love to start the Lunar New Year wearing new clothes from head to toe. Why not be practical and buy your friend an additional trendy piece for his/her wardrobe?

celine dress

barbie by shubizz

alberto handbag

If this friend is soon to approach his/her Chinese zodiac year (mine is 2014, horse), better gift him/her with a red underwear, too!

Whatever you have decided to give, always remember that it is the thought that counts, so put your heart in searching for the perfect gift. Don’t forget that presentation also matters!

gong xi fa cai

Gong Xi Fa Cai! Have a happy and prosperous New Year!

Curious what was the first thing that was ticked off in my 2014 bucket list? READ HERE

27 thoughts on “Celebrate Chinese New Year

  1. Cool! I’m actually jealous to those who were able to celebrate Chinese New Year, I was just here at home that moment since Basyang visited Cebu. Hahaha. SO unfortunate. anyway, love you shoes 🙂

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