Chinese New Year 2018
The year of the Dog
Chinese New Year is the most important festival for the Chinese across the world. The dates are predicted using the Chinese lunar calendar and is celebrated over 16 days. Mindful Wealth and its sister company InMindful welcomed the Chinese New Year by partaking in some of the local celebratory traditions. This included a lion dance performance, indulging in a reunion meal and goodies, and the famous ritual tossing of the prosperity salad.
The lion dance is a traditional performance where performers in a lion costume mimic a lion’s movements to bring good luck, fortune and scare away the evil spirits. Two people perform the lion dance; one controls the head and the movements and the other is the body and is a source of strength. The performance started with the rhythmic beating of the drums, gongs and cymbals. The lions had to get the lettuce, which were hung in the middle of the doors and involved the person manipulating the head standing on the back person’s thighs. The lions then ‘ate’ the mandarin oranges along with the lettuce that was hung in the middle of before 'spitting' it back onto us. This cumulative action, known as ‘choi chang’, sounds like wealth and fortune in Chinese. This is done at the entrance of the office to symbolize the saying ‘wealth comes thru the door’. The lions then went around the office, blessing the different work spaces where more hongbaos and mandarin oranges were laid out. Our investment team had hung hongboas from the ceiling, making the lions work for their gifts and demonstrate their abilities.
Following the lion dance performance, we all participated in a customary local CNY tradition of lo hei yusheng (tossing up good fortune). Yusheng is a salad made from shredded vegetables, condiments, and raw fish and is seasoned with a variety of sauces. It directly translates to raw fish and sounds like an ‘increase in abundance’ in Chinese. Before the lo hei (tossing), the dish is prepared in a specific order by an individual who adds the ingredients one by one, while wishes of luck and prosperity are recited. The popular belief is that the higher the toss, the greater future prospects and fortune one will have in the upcoming year. Standing and rigorously tossing the salad has made lo Hei into the frenzied communal activity it is today. It is a messy, fun and delicious affair enjoyed by all who participate.
Chinese New Year reunion dinner is the most important meal a family has together for the entire year. It is the world’s largest human migration that happens annually when families come together. Our CEO and his wife, Marco and Elide Frangi, pleasantly surprised us with their presence at our CNY lunch, reuniting our work family. We had a variety of Chinese food often had during the CNY period, ranging from fish, signifying abundance, to glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaves, signifying prosperity.
The CNY festivities concluded when we received hongbaos. The giving out of hongbaos is another main customary tradition where elders and married couples give red packets containing money to younger, unmarried family members. Hongbaos are symbols of good fortune and blessings. The monetary value of the hongbaos should end in even numbers. Giving out red packets to employees has become a tradition in the work culture as it is seen as a grateful and appreciative gesture to thank the staff.