Guo Nian – Happy Lunar New Year!! Year of the Rat.

Guo Nian! which means to Celebrate The New Year in Chinese. Chuc Mung Nam Moi! means Happy New Years in Vietnamese

It is 2008 and the year of the rat. And the world is gearing up for this wonderful celebration of life and family. All the way from Los Angeles, to China, Vietnam, Korea, San Fransico. and to New York City.

Lately we have been going to the celebrations in Los Angeles due to travel and convience because of where we live. Chinatown businesses in Los Angeles pretty much closes down 1 – 3 days prior to the celebration to adhere to some of the New Years traditions. So roughly from Thursday and Friday of February 7th to the 8th many of the business will be closed. And the celebrations pick up on the morning of February 9th.

Chinatown in Los Angeles has a parade on February 9th, 2008. Get your seat early. There will be huge crowds. At times exceeding over 100,000 people plus. Be sure when the dragons pass you during the parade that they pass directly in front of you. You will be more blessed with luck during the year. And for the children, be mindful, and respect your parents and other adults and wish them a happy and prosperous New Year. There are many red envelopes to be had. The children will find money in the envelopes. Usually one will find anywhere between a nickel up to no more than $4.00. You are considered real lucky if you receive an envelope with $8.00(for its homophone for “wealth”). Sometimes they will find chocolate coins in the envelopes as well.

Prior to the parade you may want to enjoy some of the traditional Chinese and Vietnamese styled restaurants with more of the authentic foods. Not really much of the American-Asian fusion food one would eat outside such enclaved cities. All are wonderful in taste and variety. I always enjoy the traditional bowl of Vietnamese soup called Pho’. One of the many pho’ restaurants I frequent is on Broadway by the name of Pho’ 79. Order the simpliest soup called Pho’ Tai. It is pretty much a steak and noodle soup dish. One may top the soup with bean sprout, basil, hoisen sauce, nuc mum(fish sauce) and a green chile or two.

You may want to do a walking tour of the many shops that have great deals on textiles, art, clothing, toys and food at reasonable prices. You may also be surprised of the many Asian and American galleries spotted throughout Chinatown. It is also rumored that a few Hollywood stars have bought lofts in the area as well. I hear that Quentin Tarantino may be one of them. You know the producer/director/writer of such films as Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, and From Dusk to Dawn.

If you are unsure what Chinese Zodiac(Horoscope) you fall under, you may find out your animal sign here. Your sign will come every 12 years. If you would like to know more about the legend of the 12 signs, you may read more about it at Chinese Zodiac Page.

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