HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR

Wishing your family and friends much luck, prosperity and success throughout the Year of the Dog! From Adrienne and the team at Shanghai Properties xx

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Rental Bargains during Spring Festival Season

bargain for rent

The Spring Festival season in Shanghai brings out the generous spirit of home owners who want to rent out their properties before the end of the year. According to Chinese customs, it is auspicious to finish business transactions before the end of the year so push hard on those negotiations this time of the year and see how low they will go. Landlords also very much appreciate the monies for the Spring Festival Holidays too!! This generous spirit is around for a few weeks so make the most of it!! Good Luck!

 

 

Chinese New Year Animal 2018 – Dog

dog post

A few more sleeps and we will be into a new Lunar Year which encompasses our dearly beloved friend, the Dog.

Each New Year in the Chinese Zodiac, which covers a 12 year cycle, represents one animal for that year. It is believed that each person has the characteristics resembling the animal in the year they were born.

The Lunar New Year (China) can fall between January 21st to February 20th and 2018 Lunar Year will be Friday, 16th February.

So, to all the folk born in the year of the Dog (1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 and 2018) this 2018 is a Dog year and it’s YOUR Year!! So, Happy Dog New Year to you all. Woof, woof.

As we all know, a man’s best friend is a Dog. They can understand our needs and emotions and are loyal and devoted.

The Chinese believe Dogs are auspicious animals that bring good luck so best head out and get that Tatts Ticket! And make sure you use the Dog’s Lucky Numbers which are 3, 4 and 9.

Characteristics of Dog

People born in the Year of the Dog are known to be clever, brave, sincere, loyal, responsible, independent, lively and decisive. They are tough and hardy and get on well with others. They also tend to be a bit conservative and stubborn, sensitive and emotional.

Why do the Chinese value dogs?

Stray dogs that approach a house symbolises good fortune to the family.

Dogs are very loyal to their master despite the owner being rich or poor.

Dogs bark to warn people if an intruder is nearby.

The Chinese many years ago would use the number of a dog’s bark to predict good or bad luck.

Dogs were also seen in Chinese mythology, fighting monsters and enemies. Due to this some minorities forbid dog meat to be eaten. (We hope this habit is taken all over China!!)

Chinese New Year Calendar

The Chinese Lunar calendar includes the Chinese zodiac which is a cycle of twelve stations/signs that follow the Sun’s path throughout the Cosmos.
Each new year is marked by the characteristics of one of the 12 zodiac animals: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig

How were the animals chosen in the Chinese Zodiac?

One of the most popular stories is this one. Long ago in ancient days of China, the Jade Emperor announced 12 animals would join in the Chinese calendar and said he’d select the first 12 that arrive at his gates. Cats in early days were friends with rats and both wanted to join the calendar. The cat was worried he’d sleep in so asked the rat to wake him but the rat forgot to do so, as he was so excited to leave and went alone. The rat met up with the tiger, ox, horse and other larger animals – all much faster than him. He asked the ox for a ride on his back and promised to sing all the way there. However, when the ox arrived first, the rat ran in front of him and was the first animal blessed. Sadly, the selection was over by the time the cat arrived and the cat was very angry. That is why cat’s always run after rats, trying to kill them.

What does your Chinese zodiac sign mean? 

In Chinese astrology, the 12 animal zodiac signs each have unique characteristics. 

  • Rat: Intelligence, adaptability, quick-wit, charm, artistry, greagariousness. 
  • Ox: Loyalty, reliability, thoroughness, strenghth, reasonability, steadiness, determination. 
  • Tiger: Enthusiasm, courage, ambition, leadership, confidence, charisma. 
  • Rabbit: Trustworthyness, empathy, modesyt, diplomacy, sincerity, sociability.
  • Dragon: Luckiness, flexibility, eccentricity, imagination, artistry, spirituality, charisma. 
  • Snake: Philosophical, organised, intelligent, intuitive, elegant, attentive, decisive.
  • Horse: Adaptable, loyal, courageous, ambitious, intelligent,  adventurous, strong.
  • Sheep: Tasteful, crafty, warm, elegant, charming, intuitive, sensitive, calm.
  • Monkey: Quick-witted, charming, lucky, adaptable, bright, versatile, lively, smart.
  • Rooster: Honest, energetic, intelligent, flamboyant, flexible, diverse, confident.
  • Dog: Loyal, sociable, courageous, diligent, steady, lively, adaptable, smart.
  • Pig: Honorable, philanthropic, determined, optimistic, sincere, sociable.

The Chinese Zodiac Clock

Few know of this Chinese zodiac animal clock. Have a look at how it works:

The Chinese clock:

  • Rat: 11pm-1am
  • Ox: 1am-3am
  • Tiger: 3am-5am
  • Rabbit: 5am-7am
  • Dragon: 7am-9am
  • Snake: 9am-11am
  • Horse: 11am-1pm
  • Goat: 1pm-3pm
  • Monkey: 3pm-5pm
  • Rooster: 5pm-7pm
  • Dog: 7pm-9pm
  • Pig: 9pm-11pm

Shanghai Chinese New Year 2018

shanghai chinese NY

Shanghai Chinese New Year 2018

For those of you spending your first New Year in China, we hope you enjoy the Spring Festival break and Chinese New Year celebrations. Xin Nian Kuai Le!

If you are looking for some ancient CNY traditions, sadly Shanghai doesn’t have any. As the city was a little fishing port a mere few hundred years ago, Chinese New Year in Shanghai doesn’t have any particular local traditions apart from those carried out all over China. But a visit to the City Temple at Yu Yuan Garden or other temples, are worth a look. Just expect crowds upon crowds. 🙂

Shanghai CNY Festivities

Given CNY in Shanghai is all about dining with Family and Friends, here’s some places offering wonderful New Year dining experiences.

T’ang Court Cantonese New Year dining

http://www.timeoutshanghai.com/event/Restaurants-Chinese_New_Year_dining/51615/Tang-Court-Cantonese-New-Year-dining.html

Chinese New Year at Hakkasan

http://www.timeoutshanghai.com/event/Restaurants-Chinese_New_Year_dining/51733/Chinese-New-Year-at-Hakkasan.html

Chinese New Year Buffet at Cachet

http://www.timeoutshanghai.com/event/Restaurants-Chinese_New_Year_dining/51664/Chinese-New-Year-Buffet-at-Cachet-.html

Hongbao lottery at The Chop Chop Club

http://www.timeoutshanghai.com/event/Restaurants-Chinese_New_Year_dining/51655/Hongbao-lottery-at-The-Chop-Chop-Club.html

New Year Buffet dinner at Camelia

http://www.timeoutshanghai.com/event/Restaurants-Chinese_New_Year_dining/51715/New-Year-Buffet-dinner-at-Camelia.html

Soong Family Buffet at Sasha’s

http://www.timeoutshanghai.com/event/Restaurants-Chinese_New_Year_dining/51669/Soong-Family-Buffet-at-Sashas-.html

Celebrate Chinese New Year at Shang-Xi

http://www.timeoutshanghai.com/event/Restaurants-Chinese_New_Year_dining/51713/Celebrate-Chinese-New-Year-at-Shang-Xi.html

Celebrate Michelin-style at Yi Long Court

http://www.timeoutshanghai.com/event/Restaurants-Chinese_New_Year_dining/51535/Celebrate-Michelin-style-at-Yi-Long-Court.html

Family celebration at Gui Hua Lou

http://www.timeoutshanghai.com/event/Restaurants-Chinese_New_Year_dining/50809/Family-celebration-at-Gui-Hua-Lou.html

Chinese New Year 2018

CHINESE NEW YEAR

Chinese New Year is nearly upon us. Here’s a little snapshot of CNY in case you are wondering what’s going on. 🙂

The Chinese Lunar Year

This ancient calendar dates back as early as 14th century BC. It was used as a social, religious and dynastic guide. Citizens were given time off to honor heavenly gods and household dieties. Also to remember ancestors and come together as a family for feasting.

Since mid 1990’s, the Government has given people seven days off to and this is commonly called Spring Festival.

Chinese New Year or the Lunar New Year starts with a new moon in January or Februaury and lasts 15 days when the full moon arrives and the Lantern Festival finishes the celebrations.

Chinese New Year Celebrations

Decorations are pasted on doorways, firecrackers are set off and people wear red to ward of the evil monster Nian.

Families come together on New Year’s Eve to eat dishes of Dumplings and Fish which are the most important parts of the Chinese New Year dinner, and wish all members luck and prosperity for the New Year. Fish sounds like ABUNDANCE in Chinese which is what they wish for the coming year and Dumplings are shaped as Gold Nuggets so there is a hope for more wealth. Relatives who have died are honoured and the young are gifted with small bright and colourful red envelopes filled with money. These are called “Hong Bao”. In more rural areas families pray for good harvest and enshrine the Kitchen and Gate Gods.

Greetings for CNY

Greetings for Chinese New Year in Shanghai is usually Xin Nian Kuai Le, Xin Nian Hao and Gong Xi Fa Tsai. Chinese will be delighted to hear foreigners wish them New Year Greetings so don’t be shy!!

 

Chinese New Year: Year of the Sheep

The Year of the Sheep will see the usual billions of fireworks set off to celebrate its arrival and as the New Year’s dawn arises, a thin haze of smoke will still remain in the streets as if there were a war the night before. This February 19th, 2015 is the Chinese New Year day and New Year’s Eve is all about family, food and fireworks!! If you currently live in China and have never experienced a Chinese New Year, you are in for one enormous treat so grab some earplugs and a camera and leave your Shanghai apartment and enjoy one of the biggest fireworks festivities you will ever see in your life.

Chinese New Year has some of the same traditions as Western New Year, just without the obligatory countdown. Most Chinese stay up all night with their family, eat loads of traditional dishes, play cards and watch popular variety styled TV shows.  Many choose to set off fireworks and firecrackers throughout the day and evening so if you live in a crowded area don’t plan on sleeping.  If you do want to get some shut eye make sure you fill your ears with a good set of plugs as the sound of firecrackers will be heard all night long and days and nights after. This holiday period is traditionally a 15 day event however the time off work is usually 3 to 7 days.

History

There is a story behind Chinese New Year, the legend says a wild demon named nian or (year) would come at the end of every year to terrorize the local villagers. The legend says that the villagers were able to scare off the demon by using loud noises and bright lights such as fire crackers.

New Years Eve Dinner

This is the most important meal of the year. Chinese New Year’s Eve is on January 18th. This is the holiday where everyone returns to their hometowns to have a dinner. This year is the Year of the Sheep, if you were born in the year of the Sheep you are supposed to wear all Red on this day including underwear. In Northern China, the two main dishes are fish and dumplings. The family traditionally sits together and watches TV while making dumplings. A coin is sometimes hidden in a dumpling; whoever gets the dumpling is believed to have good luck for the upcoming year. They eat fish because there is a Chinese idiom that says 年年有余 which means to have more money than you need. Fish or 鱼 and 余 have the same pronunciation. Others choose to eat noodles because the noodle is a symbol of longevity in some parts of China. At midnight the fireworks begin, the first person in the Family to set off a firework is believed to have good fortune for the year. The other belief is that setting off fireworks wards off the evil spirit. Another tradition of Chinese New year’s is to stay up all night, because of this tradition plan on hearing fireworks for the remaining of the night.

Money

Chinese Families during this time also give the younger generation red envelops or 红包 “hongbao” filled with cash. The amount of cash ranges from a few hundred to tens of thousands depending on the families economic situation. These envelopes are usually given by adults to children. Younger generations are not expected to give money to their parents and older relatives until they are married.

Decorations

Before New Year’s Chinese families will do a complete clean of their apartments. They do this to get rid of the old and welcome the new. After they finish cleaning their apartments, they put up an assortment of decorations. These decorations are always red, since red is a sign of good luck. Some of these decorations include paper cuttings, the Chinese character 福 “fu” displayed upside down and wall hangings. They put the Chinese symbol 福 upside down because the word for upside down is 倒 “dao” and it has the same sound as the word to arrive. 福 meaning is happiness, and good luck. Thus they believe that putting the symbol upside down will bring good luck and happiness. You might also want to put one on your Apartment’s door. Who knows it might bring you luck.

Unlike Westerners, the day of Chinese New Year’s and the entirety of the 15 day festival when greeting people you are expected to say Happy New Years.

The First Few Days of the New Year’s the majority of shops are closed, outside looks more like a ghost town. Do not expect on catching a taxi for a few days, they will also be taking these days off.

Taboos

Most of the traditional superstitions involved with New Year’s are not widely followed however they are worth mentioning.

  • Using scissors or knives on New Year’s Day would cut off good fortune
  • New Year’s day do not wash your hair, washing you hair signifies washing away good luck
  • If you cry on New Year’s Day you will cry the rest of the year
  • Your appearance on New Year’s Day sets the tone for the rest of the Year
  • All debts should be paid on New Year’s Day, and nothing should be lent
  • Sweeping on New Year’s Day signifies sweeping away good fortune
  • It is considered unlucky to greet anyone in their bedroom
  • No foul language should be used on New Year’s Day, and refrain from using the number 4 since it Chinese it sounds like “to die”
  • Consuming meat or slaughtering animals on New Year’s Day is considered bad luck
  • Preparing food on New Year’s Eve for the upcoming days signifies that you had abundant wealth that is brought over from the previous year

Days Following

After Chinese New Year’s eve the family will not throw away their trash until the second day of the New Year. If you throw away your trash it is believed that you are throwing away your households money.

The first five days of Chinese New Year families go from one relative’s house to another eating dinner.

In traditional China on the 7th day of New Years everyone was considered a year older instead of by their individual birthdays. This tradition is less practiced now since of growing importance of individualization. However some still do follow this tradition.

The 15th day of Spring Festival is also known as Lantern Festival and is a day where Lion Dances can be seen, along with some of the most fascinating lanterns. Kids walk down the streets and pull a rabbit shaped lantern down the street. This day is traditionally a Full moon making it the perfect skyline for lanterns. It is also the second noisiest night of the year when fireworks are once again let off to mark the end of the holiday season.

Adrienne Farrelly is one of Shanghai’s most experienced expatriate Property Agents helping expats find new homes since 1994. You can reach her at  +86 13122 810 421 or manager@shanghaiprops.com. Connect with her on Skype at shanghaiproperties8. Shanghai Properties

Chinese Zodiac Symbols

Some people say that you are a match based on your personality and life style, while others might believe you may have been destined to be together. Chinese believe that depending on the year that you were born you fall under a certain animal. Each animal has distinct characteristics. This is one of Chinese traditional beliefs.  On this upcoming Chinese New Year, all people born under the year of the Horse should wear all red including underwear to avoid an unlucky year.

History

Chinese Zodiac’s were originally established in the Han Dynasty (206-220) to count years. They watched each animal’s life style and characteristics. They chose the number 12 since; there are 12 time periods in a day, 12 months in a year, and 12 full moons in a year. Each animal is also associated with an earthly branch.

There is a Chinese folk story that explains the order of the animals.  The Jade emperor announced that 12 animals would be selected for calendar signs; the first 12 animals that arrive would be selected. There are multiple versions of the story, a widely believe one is the day before the race, the cat asked the rat to wake him up early to go to the Jade Emperor. The rat forgot to wake up the cat and ran along. While on the path to the Jade Emperor, other animals started to pass up the rat. The rat saw the Ox and asked if the ox could carry him, the condition was that the rat had to sing to the Ox on the way there. While they were arriving at the Jade Emperor’s palace the rat leaped off the Ox’s back to become the first on the list. This story also explains why the cat hates the rat so much.

You can check out which animal you belong to here.

year of the sheep

Below you can check if your animal accurately describes you.

Rat

Strengths – People born during these years are usually smart, wealthy, adaptable and successful.

Weaknesses – These people are usually timid and in the need of courage.  They are not capable of taking a leader position. They are easily guided by their greed and personal interests.

Zodiac Sign Compatibility- Dragon, Monkey, Ox

Avoid – Sheep, Horse, Rabbit

Ox

Strengths- These people are most likely honest, industrious, and cautious. They are strong leaders that have dedication and like to be in charge.

Weaknesses – They are not the most sociable, and are not easily persuaded. They are often very distant.

Zodiac Sign Compatibility – Rat, Snake, Rooster

Avoid – Horse, Dog, Sheep

Tiger

Strengths- They are usually well respected, are able to express themselves, active and love challenges.

Weaknesses- These people are often self-centered, with a short temper and do not look far into the future. They also come in conflict with authorities and seniors.

Zodiac Sign Compatibility – Horse, Dog

Avoid – Snake, Monkey

Rabbit

Strengths – These people are usually very sensitive and compassionate. They also have an extremely strong memory. They are very peaceful and hate arguing.

Weaknesses – People born under the Rabbit lack the ability to think deeply before action. They may also pass up many good opportunities.

Zodiac Sign Compatibility – Sheep, Pig, Dog

Avoid – Rat, Dragon

Dragon

Strengths – People born under the year of the dragon are ambitious, lively, energetic, intelligent and not easily discouraged.

Weaknesses – They can often be arrogant and impatient, and not be able to control their moods.

Zodiac Sign Compatibility – Rat, Monkey, Rooster

Avoid – Ox, Rabbit, Dog

Snake

Strengths- People born under the sign of the snake are usually financially savvy and do not have to worry about money. They are also wise and good tempered.

Weaknesses – They often doubt others, and are very suspicious. They prefer to rely on themselves.

Zodiac Sign Compatibility – Ox, Rooster

Avoid – Pig, Tiger

Horse

Strengths – They have great communication skills and want to be the center of attention. They are cheery and like large groups and entertainment

Weaknesses – These people may often not listen to advice. They are also quickly to jump on the newest trends and lack a deep enjoyment. They are often wasteful and are not able to handle money well.

Zodiac Sign Compatibility- Tiger, Sheep, Dog

Avoid – Rat, Ox, Rabbit

Sheep

Strengths – People born under the sign of the sheep often are clever, kind hearted, and have a deep passion for art and religion.

Weaknesses – These people are often moody and pessimistic. They can also be indecisive and puzzled about life.

Zodiac Sign Compatibility- Rabbit, Horse, Pig

Avoid – Ox, Dog

Monkey

Strengths – People born under the year of the Monkey are quick witted, lively, and excellent problem solvers. Have a strong desire for knowledge and great memories

Weaknesses- They easily feel jealous and suspicious. They also are quick to look down upon others.

Zodiac Sign Compatibility- Rat, Dragon, Snake

Avoid- Tiger, Pig

Rooster

Strengths- People born under the year of the rooster are quick thinkers, honest, warm hearted and capable.  They often have a quick mind and hot temper.

Weaknesses – They are often quick to change passions. They also believe they are always right. Often narrow minded and vain

Zodiac Sign Compatibility- Ox, Dragon, Snake

Avoid- Rat, Rabbit, Dog

Dog

Strengths – People born under the year of the dog are often faithful to their career and love life’s. They are able to keep secrets. They are also very straightforward.

Weaknesses – These people can be sometimes distant and cold. They are also known for their sharp tongues.

Zodiac Sign Compatibility – Tiger, Rabbit, Horse

Avoid- Ox, Dragon, Sheep, Rooster

Pig

Strengths – People born under the pig often have a clam appearance and strong heart. Often honest and frank and are not afraid of difficulties and problems.

Weaknesses – They are too trusting and can easily be tricked.  They are also very impulsive and not able to communicate well with others

Zodiac Sign Compatibility – Sheep, Rabbit

Avoid – Snake, Monkey

Notes

When going out in China, don’t be afraid to ask them what animal they are. 你的属相是什么(Ni de shuxiang shi shenme). It just may help you find your soul mate or avoid someone that you were destined to hate.

Adrienne black top - small

Adrienne Farrelly is one of Shanghai’s most experienced expatriate Property Agents helping expats find new homes since 1994. You can reach her at  +86 13122 810 421 or  manager@shanghaiprops.com. Connect with her on Skype at shanghaiproperties8. Shanghai Properties