February 14, 2010 will mark the beginning of Chinese New Year. Each of the twelve years in the Chinese zodiac cycle features a different animal, and this year, the tiger takes center stage.
The Chinese lunar calendar kicks off this year on February 14. The animals of the Chinese zodiac rotate in a 12-year cycle, and 2010 (4708 in the Chinese reckoning) belongs to the tiger. If you were born in the year of the tiger, courage, personal magnetism and a taste for adventure are attributes you share with other tigers like Agatha Christie, Stevie Wonder, Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Dickinson and Dylan Thomas.
In the US, cities with large Chinese populations welcome in the New Year with noisy, colorful celebrations and parades featuring firecrackers and dancing dragons, and houses are cleaned from top to bottom to sweep out the old and usher in good luck and prosperity. Red paper decorations liven up the doors and windows, and children receive gifts of money in red paper envelopes.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a celebration without food! The Chinese New Year feast is rich in meaning, with dishes symbolizing all the good things we hope the year will bring — noodles for long life, oranges for wealth and chicken wings to help us “soar to new heights.” Foods with names that sound like lucky words figure in many dishes, like the vegetable pronounced "fat choy" in Cantonese, which sounds like the word for prosperity.
When you’re whipping up your New Year feast, don’t forget that convenient, premium-quality Kikkoman products help create authentic Chinese flavors quickly and conveniently! With a full line of authentic Asian sauces, we’ve got what it takes to make your celebration delicious as well as festive. From our Stir-Fry Sauce to our Hoisin Sauce.
Want more information and ideas to help your Chinese New Year celebration sparkle? Just download Kikkoman’s Complete Guide to Celebrating Chinese New Year and our recent release, Savor the Flavors and Traditions of Chinese New Year. It’s full of fun facts, recipes and tips to make the Year of the Tiger one to remember!