Good luck, good luck, where are you? Have you seen Good Luck
around? What about his friends Prosperity, Fortune, and Happiness? Have
you seem them?
Good luck, you will not escape me this year. I have prepared for
your arrival. I have my magnifying glass, butterfly net, duster, lai-see
necklace, and stuffed tiger. You will not get away from me.
With this high power magnifying glass, I should be able to find
Good Luck. You will not escape from my very glance. Actually, do you know
what Good Luck looks like?
Maybe I can I catch it with this butterfly net? The problem is I
do not know it modes operandi. Does it slitter, fly, or crawl?
With this duster, I have removed every speck of dust from my house.
My mom tells me that Good Luck likes a clean house. Now, do I just sit
back and wait for the doorbell to ring?
I think the lai-see necklace is a good idea. What do you think?
Instead of filling the envelopes with money and placing them around the
house, I thought that I would just wear them around my neck. I am sure
that Good Luck will find it attractive. If anything at all, it brings
back memories of my childhood. This was the most prosperous time of the
year when auntie and uncle gave us these envelopes filled with money. I
thought that I was the richest kid in the world.
Since this is the Year of the Tiger, I chose to adopt stuffed
Tigger. I did not think that my husband would approve a 500 pound Sumatran
tiger in the house. Tigger is very easy to care for and besides, it is
very quiet and does not eat very much. Remember, a tiger in the house will
scare away, fires, thieves and evil spirits. Tiger is a deep thinker and
planner. He is not only brave but is very generous. Maybe I should go back
to the store to buy a few more Tiggers.
On January 28, the Year of the Tiger, 4696 arrived. According to
Chinese legend, Buddha invited all the animals in his kingdom to appear
before him. Twelve animals made the long journey and now, each are
honored on separate years.
The list is long during this time of legends, symbolism, and
rituals. So pay attention and perhaps Good Luck will be a permanent guest
at your house.
Encourage your children to stay awake on New Year's Eve and
longevity will be yours. As a parent and a grandparent grant your
children "laisees" or lucky money, tucked into red or gold envelopes.
- Coins and shiny wrappers symbolize wealth.
- Sprouting bulbs represent new life.
- The color red signifies happiness while green means prosperity.
For weeks, family and friends will visit each other. Guests bring
gifts for the gracious host. Hosts toast well wishes with tea to visitors,
and offer treats of seeds for fertility and candy for a sweet life.
Not showering on the first day of the year will prevent you from
washing all your good luck away. Put on new clothes and you will be ready
to face the new year.
There should be no killing on the first day of the new year
celebration. In some households, meat is not consumed this day and a
vegetarian dish, "jai" or Buddha's Delight is served. In other homes, the
feast is prepared days before.
The food you eat during these celebration days will determine your
fate in the new year. Do you want family togetherness? Bring the family
together by serving a fire pot. The round pot represents wholeness. Complete
this with round bowls and plates, and you will be guaranteed to never be alone
again. Make sure to serve at least eight dishes for the number "bot" sounds
like luck or hundredfold.
Are you seeking a fortune? Then eat spring rolls. If you use your
imagination, the rolls look like gold bars. Devour an egg and the yolk
will make your life golden.
If you seek longevity, slurp noodles, but do not cut or break them.
If you want abundance, then eat fish. The Chinese word for fish is "yu"
which sounds like the word for surplus. Adorn your house with tangerines
and kumquats, and gold and good luck will be found in your future.
Perhaps I do not know what Good Luck looks like even with my
magnifying glass or if I can actually capture it with my net, but I do
know that it brings good feelings and family togetherness. So in this year
of the Tiger, I wish you "Gung Hay Fat Choy," Happiness and Prosperity and
hope that life roars for you this year.
Date Posted: February 1998
Email your comments to: Stella Fong