The Year of the Rooster

Today is the last day of the lunar year so it’s the Chinese New Year’s Eve. Today shops closed earlier than usual and families got together to cook and eat dinner and then watch the New Year’s Eve special tv show. I am watching it right now but not really paying much attention, as I don’t find it too funny. This tv show must be the most watched programme in the world as basically every home in China is tuned in on it! Chinese stars give new year good wishes and sing songs; there are also ethnic minorities dancing, old actors doing skits and soldiers singing patriotic songs.

Tomorrow the year of the Rooster starts. If your Chinese zodiac sign is rooster, this year you have to wear something red at all times to avoid bad luck. Do you want to know what the year of the rooster will bring you? You can check the horoscope predictions online, for example here. They say so many things about each zodiac sign that some of them will be true for you, haha.

We have one week of holidays and we are going to spend 5 days in Hong Kong. We’ll also go on a one day trip to Macau! When I told Chinese people about my plan, many told me: “Hong Kong during Chinese New Year will be super crowded and all the shops will be closed!”. But a colleague from Hong Kong told me it’s not specially crowded and many shops stay open (not that I want to buy many things anyway, I just need my yearly visit to Sasa to stock on cosmetics). And there will be a New Year Parade tomorrow evening and fireworks on Sunday! Fireworks have been forbidden within the city limits in Suzhou so it is very quiet now. I won’t miss firecrackers though! They are so annoying!

Today it was the first day of the holidays and I went to the malls to check the Chinese New Year decorations. It was quite disappointing! Malls make a greater effort for Christmas, which for Chinese people is about eating out and shopping.

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I think this was recycled from Christmas…

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Like every year, there are also jokes related to the year of the rooster. This year the main one has to do with the “other” meaning of the character 鸡 (chicken), which is part of the word for rooster but also for the slang name of certain male body part. Some naughty people have been wishing a happy new year of the Cock, when the usual English word used is Rooster.

Happy new year of the Rooster! If you are in China, enjoy your holidays!

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