Bill and Sue-On Hillman Celebrate

2018 - 2019 Edition

February 16, 2018 - February 04, 2019


Click to see full-size preview collages
Visit our Year of the Dog Commemorative Coins Display

Sue-On Discusses the Importance of Chinese New Year

Gung Hei Fat Choy
Bill and Sue-On Hillman
Bill Hillman ~ Sensei Shintani ~ Sue-On Hillman
The Hillmans pose with Sensei Shintani
~ Head of Wado Kai Karate for North America ~
Following their Shodan Black Belt presentations

Year of the Dog
Chinese New Year
February 16
marks the beginning of the
Year of the Dog
Year 4716
of the Chinese Calendar
Visit Our Manitoba Chinese Association Site to see
and hundreds of photos of the 

from past years
See the itinerary and photo journals of these gala events at:

5 Reasons Why We Love Chinese New Year
Sina China News
Spring Festival is nearly here and already there are the usual "China travel chaos" stories hitting the headlines. We thought we'd give you something something positive about the New Year and tell you why we love it. Have a great Year of the Horse! 

We get a holiday…kinda
Number one on our list -  the few precious days off you get. Of course, it wouldn't be China without a catch or two. The fact that you have to work "make up" days before and after the holiday slightly dampens the "holiday spirit" (especially when you're sat at your office desk on a Sunday morning). Tied to the lunar calender, the holiday changes each year and a special committee has to decide when we're lucky enough to get time off. However, spending those days resting at home or taking your chances and travelling across China are definitely worth it.

Food! Glorious Food! (and drink)
We hope you've got, or are in the process of getting, gym membership as over the holiday you'll be invited to and eat at dinner after dinner after dinner. As with Christmas and Thanksgiving, Chinese New Year is a time when family gets together and eats their combined weight in food. Not only that, but it's a Spring Festival tradition to eat copious amounts of dumplings too. Think of it as being more like a 2013 after party; you ate your way through Xmas, you drank your way through December 31/January the 1, now that everybody is back to work at home (UK, USA etc) you get to do it all over again!

CCTV New Year Gala
With levels of surrealism that only highly nationalistic state broadcasters can achieve, the CCTV New Year Gala is traditional viewing for families across the country (even if the TV is probably left on in the background as the family eats and drinks). Billed as a huge spectacular, the event itself is filmed in front of an audience in a small studio, making it seem at times like an endearing amateur dramatics company putting on a variety show. That being said, recent years has seen a few international names make appearances, including Celine Dion who sang in Chinese. Prepare for patriotic anthems, minority dancers, some token foreigners and lots of mentions of the "Chinese Dream".

Who doesn't like free money? Over the holiday there's a good chance your you'll receive a handful of hongbao, money given as a gift in a red envelope. Singletons will be happy to know that it's traditionally only married couples who give away hongbao. Receivinghongbao is just one reason why CNY is way better than Xmas - you don't get any unwanted gifts and you can spend the money you get anyway you see fit! Be careful though, wise relatives give generously and then win it all back with a few games of mahjong! So brush up on your mahjong skills now.

Beijing goes quiet
One final reason we love the Spring Festival holiday is that Beijing pipes down for a week or two (albeit for the fireworks). As people leave Beijing to go home to join their families for the festivities, the city becomes quiet. The tourist traps are as busy as ever but everywhere else slows down. You can even get a taxi when you need one! Construction halts and air quality improves slightly as factories shut down for the holiday. 
Born worriers, Dog people can sometimes nervously bark and bite at those around them, or become highly critical of others who do not share their same highly developed sense of honor and duty. Conversely, Dogs may become quiet, cool and judgmental with loved ones who arouse their anger, but they will always remain devoted.

Although young Dogs are apt to find fault at every passing injustice, the more mature will usually grow less anxious and take matters far less seriously as they age. Their basic ideal of guarding against the wrongs of society as a whole stays with them, however. It is certainly always the Dog who can be relied upon to speak up for the disenfranchised and downtrodden.

Dogs do not consciously seek out riches, but neither do they ever want for creature comforts. With their considerable talents and innate qualities, Dogs usually excel as effective social activists, teachers, nurses or doctors. Dogs are most compatible with : Horse, Tiger, Rabbit

Paradoxically the year of the Dog will bring happiness and dissent in the same boat. The Dog's domestic auspices will bring harmony to home life, patriotism to one's country and unwavering fealty to whatever cause you wish to support.

On the other hand, his rigid willpower and unbending sense of justice will also lead to major confrontations with the weaker side getting the upper hand. It is a year in which controversial issues will be awarded a hearing and unconventional but effective changes will be introduced. Equality and liberty will be advocated by the Dog's noble influence.

We will become more idealistic in our views, shedding some materialism by doing charitable acts or otherwise championing some worthy projects. It is a year in which we will shift away from the pursuit of the almighty dollar and become a little more reflective. A perfect time to reassess our sense of values, polish up our virtues and go on crusades against tyranny and oppression.

In spite of the Dog's dismal outlook, he brings stability because people do not usually dare to challenge his authority when they see how intent he is on keeping the peace. The year of the Metal Dog is more feared than others as he is said to bring war and calamity.

Needless to say, the Dog's resoluteness and intensity will cause clashes, upheavals and rebellions of all sorts, but it will be his good sense and largesse that will also smooth things out in the end. His unselfishness will predispose us to be more big-hearted than we normally are.

This will also be a year in which we will wish we could relax more without the cynical Dog constantly casting worries on our minds. Then again, perhaps it will be the Dog's ever-watchful eye that will be the main force in keeping this time calm.

Aside from this feeling of uneasiness, there should be no cause for alarm. We can go about our business as usual since the Dog makes the perfect sentry.

The Dog's year will lend integrity to our intentions and make us act in good faith. Nothing should concern us so long as we stick to the righteous path.


This may be the most likable sign of all in the Chinese cycle. A person born in the year of the Dog is honest, intelligent and straightforward. He has a deep sense of loyalty and a passion for justice and fair play. A Dog native is usually animated and attractive and will exude sex appeal. Generally amiable and unpretentious, he will know how to get along with others as he is not too demanding. The egalitarian Dog likes to meet others halfway, is always willing to listen to reason and can be counted on to do his share.

If you have a forthright Dog for a friend, you must know that when you are in trouble, all you have to do is dial D-O-G. For no matter how much he or she complains, scolds or feigns indifference, the Dog person cannot ignore a real call for help. At times, the Dog protects the interests of others more avidly than his own. If anyone will bail you out ten times out of ten, he must be a Dog. The Dog-born sometimes sticks to the object of his affection no matter how unworthy the person is. You don't find a Dog leaving home just because he discovers that his master has the proverbial feet of clay. He makes allowances for such frailties and he will probably stick it out through thick and thin. And if he does leave home, well, don't blame him, it must be a truly dismal place indeed! The Dog does not desert easily.

Like his equally humanitarian friend, the Tiger, the Dog seldom directs his wrath at someone personally. He will take you to task over one specific act or offense without hating you entirely or forever. His anger is more of a bright flash. It could come without warning and may die as quickly, too. But it will always be a justifiable kind of anger--without malice, without rancor and without jealousy. When all is said and done and proper reparations have been made, he can bury the hatchet.

Not all Dogs look for fights. It would be more just to say that the Dog person is an open-eyed and open-minded observer, with the objective of preserving social goals and guarding the interest of the public at large.

Once in a while, when the Dog decides to take up a cause he thinks is right, he will emerge victorious. Fortunately, he is not one to champion bad causes because his ideals and morals will be of the highest order. As the symbol of justice, the Dog person is very serious about his self-imposed responsibilities.

Collectively speaking, the Dog is not materialistic and ceremonious; he prefers plain talk. He usually sees through people's motives anyway, so fancy language just affects him the wrong way. He is a natural lawyer and will listen to your case objectively. But don't pry into his affairs as he will become secretive and withdrawn. The Dog was born with his defense shields up. You will have to gain his confidence gradually and wait for him to open up.

The Dog is reputed to be cynical, but this is a callous generalization. Actually, it is more fitting to say that puppies are universally lovable and irresistible, young dogs are frisky and full of life and only mature or old dogs earn the right to be the diehard cynics of the Oriental zodiac. Staunch public defenders and members of the Old Guard must indeed belong to the elite Dog unit, getting bleary-eyed with disillusionment as the years go by but remaining ever faithful in rallying to the bugle's call. Raving with disgust at how low our morals have sunk, the Dog will still be found pitting his strength against the forces of evil and answering every S.O.S. that comes his way.

Even as young pups, the Dog will be able to spot the good guys and the bad guys. He'll want to be one of the good guys, of course. She will be Joan of Arc and he will be Sir Galahad.

The Dog, whether he admits it or not, will have an inborn need to divide people into fixed categories. To him, you are either a friend or foe; black or white. No mousey grays or other shades of in-between. He has to know how to classify you before he can relax in your company. His decision to trust or not to trust you is often a final one. And if he does suspect you, well, he may not be rude enough to come right out and accuse you without the evidence, but you can be sure he will be watching you from the corner of his eye. However, even snarling, barking, mad dogs have a good idea of how the legal system works and won't come after you without that warrant. But when he's onto your scent and picks up your tracks, it will be difficult to shake him off.

On the whole, the Dog is only violent when stirred or attacked on his home ground. He will work hard when he has to or wants to; otherwise, he has a certain "lie by the fire" kind of laziness. Yet, while he is tolerant of and acquiesent to his friends, he can be critical of and emotionally cold to people he dislikes. Practical, fearless and the owner of one very sharp tongue, the Dog person is ultra-realistic and outspoken. He will make a good judge as he spares no one, not even himself, in the final analysis.

Like the late Chou En-lai, who was born in the year of the Dog, the native of this sign will be loved for his warm charisma and superb insight into human nature. With his astute intelligence and noble character, he makes a good but sometimes reluctant leader. People trust him and hold him in high esteem because of his sense of duty and discretion. The Dog's leadership is unemotional, although altruistic. But he is also prone to bouts of erratic and cantankerous behavior. This may be because he is really an introvert at heart and hates all that pretense on the social scene.

The Dog-born does not care very much about money, but should he have desperate need for it, no one is better equipped to find it. In many cases, he will be born into a good family; if not, he will elevate his status in life by himself without shunning his family or hiding his humble origins.

Even while he puts on a bright and cheerful appearance, the Dog is by nature a pessimist. He tends to worry unnecessarily and will expect trouble to be lurking in every corner. But there are times when his predictions come true. Anyway, it will be wise to note that Orientals as well as Westerners have the same belief that everyone needs a Dog at home to distinguish friends from foes.

You can trust the Dog to hand you the bad news with the good. With his matter-of-fact ways, he may even be quite good at breaking sad tidings, especially to theatrical and overemotional people. It is not that he will enjoy informing people of disaster (whether or not he led a demonstration last week to protest the matter); it will be because it is against his nature to hedge or delay the inevitable. He is a definite person and he has this necessity to give you a definite answer. As far himself, he will be able to face the facts of life, even if he is young and untried.

When he is right, the Dog can be obstinate and unbending. It is hard to influence the unprejudiced Dog once he makes up his mind. He will cut the opposition's arguments to ribbons with his flawless logic and acid wit. His bad temper and hot criticism can do a lot of damage but he only resorts to this when he is getting nowhere with diplomacy and formal protests. The Dog may be pugnacious and quarrelsome but he will take his fights out to the open and rarely stoops to underhanded; methods in order to win. He excels as a military man, lawyer, teacher, judge, doctor, captain of industry or missionary. He is one person who can carry on revolutionary activities with a pacifist's views.

The lady Dog will be a thoughtful and capable person who will in all situations be a simple dresser, preferring casual and serviceable clothing. She will opt for a loose and flowing hair style that could frame her expressive face quite dramatically. She can become curt, impertinent and impatient when she is crossed, but on the whole she is unaffected and attentive to the needs of others. Cooperative, unprejudiced and a very good sport, she will enjoy dancing, swimming, tennis or any other lively outdoor activity. A real friend to her husband and children, she will allow them enough freedom to express themselves and choose their own futures without being possessive or interfering.

Dog girls have warm, enduring beauty. Ava Gardner, Sophia Loren, Brigitte Bardot, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Cher are but a few of the glamorous examples of famous females born under this sign.

Although she exhibits a fairly amiable disposition and has a ready smile for everyone, the Dog lady likes to form friendships slowly. You will have to come over to her house for tea (a good sign of acceptance), then invite her over to try your homemade cupcakes. You must discover each other's qualities leisurely. Compare likes and dislikes. Exchange mutual oaths of loyalty. When her sense of equilibrium is satisfied, you will get the royal stamp of approval. Henceforth, your name is engraved in gold in her little black book under the heading Friend (she has another section for the Enemies), and when you call upon her she will come to your rescue wherever she may be.

The Dog person is never without resources, and even when he does not have direct power, he will wield influence on important or decision-making people through his sound advice and remarkable insight. People do lend him their ears, as he champions moderation in all things. Yet the Dog-born is the first to see the perils of being at the top of the power game and is often criticized for his lack of desire for fame and authority. He keeps his aspirations to himself and is modestly prepared to serve others, if that is his duty, or else be left alone to do whatever pleases him most. Moreover, he is not renowned for his patience and has the tendency to snap at others when irked. He will not go out and fall madly in love like the Horse or Tiger, but he will be deeply attached and affectionate to those he loves.

While it will never be easy for the Dog to trust everyone profoundly, as the Boar does, he does his best to bring out the good in his fellowmen. Once you have gained his allegiance, he will place complete faith in you and give you his undivided support. Try criticizing someone who is dear to the Dog, and you will be in for a very strong rebuttal.

Most people born under this sign are tough, in the sense that they can take a lot of stress without cracking up. The Dog's stable mint makes him a good counselor, priest or psychologist. During times of crisis, he can suffer great hardships and deprivation without complaining. He earnestly wishes that the world were a better place to live in, and he will not be afraid to go out and do something about it. Many saints and martyrs were born under the idealistic sign of the Dog.

A Dog who is born at night is reputed to be more aggressive and high-strung than one born during the day. Dogs of all seasons will be well provided for throughout their lives and have need of little.

The Dog will be most compatible with the Horse, the Rabbit and the Tiger. He will have no conflict with the Rat, Snake, Monkey, Boar or another Dog. The Rooster he will have difficulty understanding. The one he will never really get himself to believe in is the overconfident Dragon. Neither can he find it pleasant to tolerate the constant complaints of the indulgent Sheep. Likewise, the Dragon will be enraged when the Dog pours cold water over his grand designs and the Sheep will call the Dog insensitive.


This child will be friendly, happy and well-balanced. Cheerful and harmonious, he expects little of others and can accept his parents and friends as they are. Open, confident and loyal, he will perceive other people's viewpoints with amazing clarity while still maintaining his own convictions and dignity. He will never allow himself to be bullied and in all probability will put up a hefty fight with the neighborhood tyrant and win the respect of his peers.

Sensible and fairly consistent, the Dog will get his schoolwork done without too much trouble. He will be reasonable when asked to help around the house and will be protective toward younger family members.

Playful and outgoing, he will insist on a certain degree of independence. But the faithful Dog will never stray too far from home. This child will be known and liked for his sense of humor, warmth and candid ways. When offended, the Dog child can turn rebellious, mean and hypercritical. His anger flares and subsides relatively quickly and he will return to his normal equilibrium. He will not keep a grudge for long and can forget and forgive readily.

When he is negative, the Dog is pugnacious, argumentative, caustic and unbendingly opinionated. He is only liberal and fair-minded if not pushed too far. When he feels he has been taken undue advantage of, the Dog will retaliate bitterly and without any compassion. Once he starts to fight, the Dog will not be open to discussion or negotiations anymore. It is better never to challenge this tolerant child to the point of no return. The unassuming Dog can erupt like a volcano.

If the Dog child is rejected or unappreciated, he could be lethargic, insensitive, cynical or plain indifferent to the wishes of his parents. Compliment and encourage him and this child will reciprocate lavishly. Basically, he is cooperative, so there should be no need to cajole or threaten him in any way. Efficient and diplomatic, the Dog will exhibit a lack of prejudice, or at least he will make it a point never to show it. He is inclined to avoid scenes rather than create them.

It will be safe to give him responsibilities or take him into your confidence even at an early age. The trustworthy Dog will not like to be accused of having a loose tongue. He will guard a secret like a sacred trust.

To sum it up, the Dog will always defend what is his. He will have a high sense of values and to him home and family will come first. 

Celebrities with Chinese Zodiac Dog
Famous people born in the Year of the Dog : Mariah Carey, Cher, Winston Churchill, Bill Clinton, Dorothea Dix, Benjamin Franklin, George Gershwin, Jane Goodall, Herbert Hoover, Madonna, Shirley McLaine 

The Chinese Calendar
Year of the Dog in Wikipedia
Chinese New Year: Wikipedia Entry
The Art of Chinese Calligraphy
Taboos and Superstitions of Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year Decorations
Traditional New Year Foods
Chinatownology New Year

Visit our previous New Year Pages:
Year of the Pig: 2007
Year of the Rat: 2008
Year of the Ox: 2009
Year of the Tiger: 2010
Year of the Rabbit: 2011
Year of the Dragon: 2012
Year of the Snake: 2013
Year of the Horse: 2014
Year of the Ram: 2015
Year of the Monkey: 2016
Year of the Rooster: 2017
Chinese Horoscope Signs & Their Corresponding Years

1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911
1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923
1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935
1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947
1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971
1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983
1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995
1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031


People born in the year of the DOG are honest, loyal, and have a deep sense of duty. Their intelligence and industrious nature make them good leaders in the business world. The Dog people are usually steady workers, they can easily become both trusted and valued members of any community. Those people born in Dog years would make a superior industry leader, priest, educator, doctor, writer, or scientist.
Ideal Partner: Horse, Tiger
Dog Years: 1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018

The ROOSTERS people are industrious, diligent, and devoted to work. They love to travel because of their courageous and adventurous spirit. They are deep thinkers, but can often be eccentric. They are not at all shy and prone to exaggerate and boast on all matters. Rooster people make good travel and public relation agents, dentists surgeons, cooks, or beauticians.
Ideal Partner: Ox, Snake
Rooster Years: 1909, 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017
The MONKEYS are mischievous, vain, and clever. Their most prized traits are originality, creativity, and education. People adore Monkeys for their wit, high intelligence, and interest in world affairs. Older and wiser Monkeys are able to channel their energetic and rich imaginations into the solving of complex problems. Monkeys people can succeed in professions such as business, trade, law, stocks, industry and politics.

Ideal Partner: Dragon, Rat
Monkey Years: 1908, 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016
RAM people are elegant, charming, generous, wise and gentle. They are also pessimists, hesitant, and over-anxious worriers. Uncertainty causes the Ram people to seek guidance from others while their timidity prevents them from becoming great leaders. They are deeply religious and highly talented in the fields of art and music. Ram people should be good in the professions of gardening, actor, artist, entertainer, musician, or photography.

Ideal Partner: Boar, Horse
Ram Years: 1907, 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003
HORSE year people are popular and hard workers. They have financially sound minds and are adept at handling money matters. Whether male or female, Horse personalities feel more comfortable in the company of their own kind. They are independent and self-willed individuals who never take advice. Horse people should choose a field as a dentist, financier, banker, or politician.

Ideal Partner:  Tiger, Ram
Horse years: 1906, 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002

Those born under the sign of the SNAKE are romantic, passionate, charming and well informed. Snakes are intellectuals, philosophers, and deep thinkers. They strive to succeed in all that they do. The are extremely self-critical. Snake personalities often make their way to the top. They ensure that they are in the right place at the right time, which means when the right people are there as well. Snake people should seek their fortunes  as professors, writers, philosophers, or psychiatrists.
Ideal Partner:  Dragon, Dog
Snake years: 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013
The DRAGON symbolizes life, growth, and brings blessings of longevity, virtue and harmony. Dragon people are born extroverts, their opinions and ideas are worth listening to since their advice is usually the best. Elegant and with a good eye for spotting the latest trends, Dragon people are always to the forefront of the fashion scene. Blessed with rich imagination, the Dragon always comes up with exotic ideas for new ventures. a Dragon should choose a career as artist, doctor, or architect.

Ideal Partner:  Rat, Monkey, Rooster
Dragon years: 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012

RABBIT  people are happy, gifted, refined and ambitious. They also know how to draw others' attention and are great mixers in any social gatherings. The typical Rabbit will be submissive, even humble, in a constant effort to avoid confrontations. Rabbit is an excellent judge of character, with an instinct for recognizing sincerity in others and an almost uncanny ability for sensing falsehood. Hare people make wonderful receptionists, publicists, stockbrokers, and pharmacists.
Ideal Partner: Ram, Dog, Boar
Rabbit years: 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011

The TIGER is a born leader, fiercely competitive, and never afraid to fight. Tigers often get into difficult and hazardous situations because they live dangerously. Narrow-mindedness and suspiciousness are their greatest faults. Their careers exemplifies them as deep thinkers and careful planners. Tigers are likely to succeed in sales, personnel management. They can be a good military leader, supervisors, teachers, firemen, or police officers.
Ideal Partner:  Horse, Dragon, or Dog
Tiger Years: 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010
By nature, BOARS are peace-loving, trustful, honest, and sincers. People born in the year of the Boar will be lucky and successful in handling money, business and academic matters. They have a deep desire for knowledge and are generally well informed. Boars are the finishers, they are the ones who put the last necessary touches to a project. Boars are suited to be doctors, bankers, businessmen, scientists and entertainers.

Ideal Partner: Rabbit, Ram
Boar Years: 1911, 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007
People born in the year of the RAT are blessed with great personal charm. The Rat is adaptable, aggressive, and creative. Rat people are hard working, thrifty, and can save a lot of money. They are elegant by nature and strive for the better things in life. Bright and gregarious, rat's intellectual versatility is not always immediately recognized. Rat people make good business people, accountants, and bankers. 

Ideal Partner:  Dragon and Monkey
Rat Years: 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008 
The OX is quiet, steadfast, methodical and can tolerate difficulties. Ox people are hard working and down to earth. They are exceptionally clever and creative with their hands. In business, the ox often brings prosperity, not through entrepreneurial imagination and risk, but as a result of logical thought, resolute practicality, and honest endurance. Ox people should seek their fortune as a surgeon, dentist, architect, tailor, or technician.

Ideal Partner:  Rat, Rooster, or Snake
Ox years: 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009
                                                                                                                                                          .                                                                                      Reference

Chinese New Year (Nian) lasts two or three days, but the New Year season extends from the middle of the previous year's 12th month to the middle of the 1st month of the new year. It is a holiday celebrated by Chinese the world over.

In preparation, the house is given a thorough cleaning-- a sweeping away of any misfortune or bad luck during the year departing to make way for the incoming good luck and good fortune that will surely arrive during the new year. Doors and windows are given new coats of paint, and paper cutouts with the themes of 'happiness,' 'wealth' and 'longevity' are used as decoration around the home. Special flowers and fruits are also often used as symbolic decorations for prosperity and good fortune. Peach blossoms are said to bring long life; good fortune is represented by the kumquat's golden fruits. Offerings of food may also be left at the altar of ancestors.

New Years' Eve is carefully observed, with all members of a family dining together. Supper is a joyous feast, with jiaozi served-- dumplings boiled in water. (The word literally means 'sleep together and have sons,' a traditional good wish greeting for a family.) Fish is also traditionally served (the Chinese character for fish sounds the same as that for 'abundance'.) There is also served a vegetarian dish with a special seaweed called fat choi, a word similar in sound to that for prosperity. Noodles accent the wish for long life.

Every light in the house is supposed to stay lit for the whole night. At midnight, the sky erupts in a colorful display of fireworks and firecrackers. The New Year has arrived!

Early in the morning, after sunrise, the children receive their hong bao (red packets, often containing money) from their parents. Then the family visits door-to-door to exchange New Years greetings-- first to relatives, then to neighbors. In some Chinese neighborhoods, mandarin oranges are also exchanged as offerings of good will and good fortune.

The New Year is a time of reconciliation. Old grudges are set aside, and the atmosphere is marked by warmth and friendliness. The visits continue for several days, marked by  a great deal of gift giving. Passersby greet one another in various dialects: Sun Nean Fai Lok and Xin Nain Kuai Le (Happy New Year) or Kung Hey Fat Choi and Gong Xi Fa Cai (May Prosperity Be With You).

Fifteen days after New Years' Day, the celebration's end is marked by the Festival of Lanterns. It is a time for lantern shows and folk dances ... and another reason to feast. Another kind of dumpling is traditionally served-- tang yuan-- sweet rice balls that are stuffed with sweet or spicy fillings.

Chinese New Year is like a combination of Thanksgiving and Easter that celebrates the sacredness of the family and presents a time of renewal. Food, naturally, is central to the New Year. But unlike the reminiscent Thanksgiving turkey, everything eaten during the two-week Chinese tradition — which begins in 2000 on February 5 — holds auspicious meaning and is believed to directly affect one's fortune for the coming year.

One tasty ritual during the New Year period is eating cake, both sweet and savory. After steaming, they are cooled, cut into bite-size pieces, pan-fried, and served with oyster sauce. Cake is eaten for breakfast and whenever visitors stop by. What's the fortuitous significance? Rice flour, which symbolizes cohesiveness; the round shape, which represents unity of family; and the slight rising of the cakes, which  indicates rising fortune.

If eating your way to good fortune sounds like a fine idea, try the three Chinese New Year's cake recipes:

New Year's Cake
Called Neen Gow in Chinese, this chewy cake contains glutinous rice flour to symbolize cohesiveness and peen tong brown candy to represent the sweetness of life. It is the most important cake of the holiday and is served only during the New Year celebration.

Turnip Cake
Law Bock Gow is served on New Year's Day as a symbol of  prosperity and rising fortune. You can also find this savory cake on the menu throughout the year in dim sum houses. The texture of savory cakes such as this and Taro Root Cake is similar to polenta.

Taro Root Cake
The savory Woo Tul Gow is often served in dim sum houses, but is unsurpassed when made at home using generous amounts of what Young calls "the good stuff": Chinese dried scallops, bacon, and mushrooms.

Red Lucky Money Envelopes
It is Chinese tradition to wish  family and friends "Gung Hay Fat Choy" with red envelopes containing gifts of money.

Fireworks and Family Feasts
At Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper, and give children "lucky money" in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in a similar ancient custom. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten evil spirits.

The Lantern Festival
In China, the New Year is a time of family reunion. Family members gather at each other's homes for visits and shared meals, most significantly a feast on New Year's Eve. In the United States, however, many early Chinese immigrants arrived without their families, and found a sense of community through neighborhood associations instead. Today, many Chinese-American neighborhood associations host banquets and other New Year event.


red lucky money envelopered lucky money envelope
Introduction to the Chinese Calendar
Send a Chinese New Year Card
Chinese Calendar

Chinese Fortune CookieChinese Fortune Cookie

Cantonese for "heart's delight," dim sum  includes a variety of small, mouth-watering dishes such as steamed or fried dumplings, shrimp balls, steamed buns and Chinese pastries. Dim sum  — standard fare in tea houses — can be enjoyed any time of the day. Unlike most dining establishments, servers in a dim sum eatery do not take orders, per se. Instead, they walk among the tables with carts or trays of  kitchen-fresh food. Diners simply point to the item they want, which is served on small plates or in baskets. Each item usually has a set price. At the end of the meal, the check is tallied by counting the  dishes on the table. Some dim sum restaurants add the price of each dish to a check that remains on the table, clearing dishes as they are emptied.
Chinese Cuisine

Ten recommended delicacies to add to your New Year's menu.

Sue-On's Food Odyssey (hundreds of dishes from over the last year)
Sue-On's Seven Day Food Log
FATFREE Archives' Chinese Recipes
Chinese Recipes

Sue-On Hillman
Dishes from Sue-On's Kitchen Over the Last Year
Sue-On's 7-Day Food Weblog Adventure
Making Sesame Balls For Chinese New Year
Making Lobak Goh Chinese New Year Turnip Cake
Making Joongzi Sticky Rice in Bamboo Leaves
Making Joongzi: Pictorial with Students
Sue-On's Seafood Birthday Feast

Sue-On China Home: Then and Now


Thousands of Photos of the Hillman Asian Visits with Captions and Notes
Singapore ~ Malaysia


Over 2,000 3D Stereocards of Ancient China

Click for Collage


featuring Karen Tam's Chinese Restaurant Exhibit
at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba

Wado-Ryu Karate Links

Zen-Tao Chi-Kung Tai Chi
Taoism and the Philosophy of Tai Chi Chuan
Tai Chi Society

Hillman Martial Arts Compendium: Wado-Kai Karate
SOO'S RESTAURANT ARCHIVE: A Manitoba Landmark from 1970-2002

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