[ Chinese New Year Traditions ]
You either love or ignore traditions. Celebrating the Chinese New Year is all about traditions. The new year starts on January 28! (FYI: Also my son's birthday, so he may be extra lucky.) The Chinese follow a number of traditions leading up to and during the new year to help usher in good luck and fortune, and we all could use "good luck and fortune!"
#1. Tradition says: Sweep away the dust, and start clean. So, clean your "quarters" before the 28th! Get the celebration china out!
#2. Tradition says: It's unlucky to cut your hair during the new year week and/or month.
#3. Tradition says: Buy new clothes. I like this one! Red clothing is considered essential, as it is said to scare off the mythical monster Nian.
#4. Tradition says: Flower blossoms bring fortune. Purchase some flowers for your table or home.
Let's get started on our tablescape. I have enjoyed collecting various Chinese artifacts. So, why not celebrate the Chinese New Year with Geisha Girl China. Geisha Girl is primarily red printed motifs embellished with detailing in overglaze enamels in blues, gold, reds, greens and yellows. Gold gilt is sometimes used to decorate handles and rims. Japanese green tea tastes wonderful when served in these collectible, thin cups. The stencil-design pieces are colorful and fun to collect.
Place Setting: Started with a gold tablecloth, and added a salad or dessert plate for this setting with a delicate tea cup. Geisha Girl. These wares began production in the last quarter of the 19th century and continued to be manufactured into the early 1950s (Litts 1988:8, 11). Most were produced prior to the beginning of World War II, although they continued to be made during the period of Japan’s occupation by Allied forces (1945-1952). The printed Geisha Girl porcelain was inexpensive and during its earlier period often sold in 'dime stores' and used as free premiums. Cups and saucers were often "free" give-aways inside large containers of Japanese tea. In its better versions, it was a popular gift.
Centerpiece: With the tradition of having blossoms, There are many options for your centerpiece. I started with 6 inch height gold bud vases, and to compliment the china I opted for a orange blossom. In Chinese tradition,, you can select from many options.
A tangerine tree or a bowl of tangerines. Tangerines are considered lucky because they sounds like “luck” in Cantonese.
A glass vase of pussy willows. The plant, usually sold in stalks, is popular for its yellow and white colors, which represent gold and silver.
One of my favorites is a vase with branches of cherry blossoms: The pink flower is believed to help one find love.
Also Narcissus or daffodils, because the gold-colored flower represents fortune and money.
Pop: Paired phrases, usually of five or seven Chinese characters expressing blessings, written on red paper in calligraphy. Place these on the plate, napkin or spread the letters on the table. Some families opt for more modern symbols, such as the female and male cartoon figures of the zodiac for that year (2017, is the year of the fire rooster).Unfortunately, I didn't have any of these ready for the photo shoot.
Finale: The final day, Day 15, sees the Lantern Festival, where red Chinese lanterns are released into the sky, a tradition that some have carried over to weddings.