Chinese New Year Customs and Traditions

Gong Xi Fa Cai is a common greeting you will hear during Chinese New Year. The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is a major holiday and a festive occasion celebrated in places with significant Chinese populations. This year, Chinese New Year falls on January 28.

In the Philippines, the Chinese New Year is much anticipated by the Filipino-Chinese communities.  Many colorful customs and traditions are observed during this time, which are similar to those practiced in mainland China. Some of the more popular ones are the following:


Before the Chinese New Year celebrations, people meticulously clean their homes. They scrub the walls, sweep the floor, change linens and dust the entire house. This is their way of showing respect to the family and their ancestors.



People also pay off all their financial obligations before the Chinese New Year. Carrying any burdens from the previous year is believed to bring bad luck, so people try to settle all their debts.



Giving red envelopes or hongbao is also a custom observed during Chinese New Year. These red envelopes contain money and is commonly given to kids as Chinese New Year gifts. The color red is a symbol of happiness and blessings. Giving away red envelopes bestows good wishes and luck upon the receiver.

Photo credit: Brian Jeffery Beggerly -Flickr
Photo credit: Brian Jeffery Beggerly -Flickr

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The Chinese New Year is also the time where families get together. People usually have New Year’s Eve dinner at home where fortune food like fish, dumplings, spring rolls and longevity noodles are served.

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Photo credit: Alpha- Flickr


Nian gao or Tikoy in the Philippines is a sweet delicacy prepared from glutinous rice that is traditionally eaten or given away during the Chinese New Year. Nian gao means “higher year.” When you give someone nian gao or tikoy, it means you are wishing that person prosperity in the coming year.



Dragon dances are likewise performed on the streets by people wearing colorful dragon costumes. A team of dancers carry the Chinese dragon on poles and mimics the movements of the dragon to the accompaniment of cymbals, drums and gongs. To the Chinese people, the dragon symbolizes power and prestige and is believed to bring good luck.



Photo credit: SebastienPoncet (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo credit: SebastienPoncet (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Chinese New Year celebration is not complete without fireworks. The Chinese believe that setting off fireworks when the clock strikes 12:00 on New Year’s Eve will drive away evil spirits and bring good fortune in the coming year.

What to Expect from Super Bowl LI

All eyes will be glued to the TV screen as this year’s Super Bowl LI airs in February. The National Football League’s most awaited annual championship game will be played at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on February 5, 2017.

2017 Super Bowl 51 The Official Home of the Super Bowl

What teams will play in Super Bowl LI?

The winners of the American Football Conference (AFC) and National Football conference (NFC) championship games on January 22 will be the teams who will play in Super Bowl LI. The New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers will battle each other in the AFC championship game at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The Green Bay Packers, on the other hand, will be pitted against the Atlanta Falcons for the NFC championship game at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.

Who will perform at the halftime show?

Grammy award-winning singer Lady Gaga headlines Super Bowl LI’s Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl Halftime Show. The electrifying performer will surely bring the house down the way she did when she splendidly sang the national anthem in last year’s Super Bowl.


What are the prizes for the Super Bowl winners?

Cash bonuses are given to both winning and losing teams, with the champions getting a much bigger payout. Each player of the winning team will also get a gold-and-diamond Super Bowl ring. Finally, the winning team will receive the most coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy.

So who do you think will win Super Bowl LI?

5 Stunning Places to Visit for Your Honeymoon

After the wedding is over and done with, the newly married couple excitedly looks forward to spending time with each other in a place where they can sit back, relax and create wonderful memories as husband and wife. Here is a list of destinations to make every couple’s honeymoon truly memorable.

Niyama Maldives (Maldives)

Niyama Maldives prides itself on being “nature’s play area.” It consists of two islands “Chill” and “Play” that are linked by a bridge. It is an ideal family or couple’s haven with lush vegetation, crystal clear waters and white beach shorelines. Get spectacular views of the sea from any of their shoreline front suites or over water pavilions and experience island living at its finest.


Anax Resort & Spa (Greece)

The Anax Resort & Spa is a brand new 5-star resort hotel in Agios Ioannis, Mykonos, Greece that offers breathtaking views of the sea. It is a world-class facility that blends Cycladic architecture with modern amenities and superb personalized services. Here, newlyweds will experience beauty, comfort and tranquility in any of their designer suites or maisonettes.


Turtle Bay Resort (Hawaii)

Turtle Bay Resort is a luxury beach hotel in Oahu, Hawaii which boasts of upscale amenities, unparalleled service and stunning natural beauty. The newly married couple will never run out of things to do here.  They can swim, surf, snorkel, kayak, bike, play tennis and golf, and go horseback riding, jogging and walking, among many others.


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Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai (Thailand)

Honeymooners will also have an unforgettable Thai getaway at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai. Here, they will earn to cook Thai cuisine from the resort’s executive chef, receive luxurious spa treatments, discover Muay Thai kickboxing, visit the Elephant Camp, experience hot-air balloon rides, or simply laze in their infinity-edge swimming pool amidst the scenic rice terraces of the Mae Rim Valley.


El Nido Resorts Apulit Island (Philippines)

Adventurous couples will have a thrilling time at El Nido Resorts Apulit Island in Taytay Bay, Northeastern Palawan, Philippines. They can climb and rappel down a limestone cliff, dive and see sunken treasures and colorful marine species, explore natural caves, and go island hopping.

Newly married couples can make their honeymoon truly unforgettable by visiting any of these wonderful destinations.


Experience the Beauty and Flavors of Greece

Greece, officially known as Hellenic Republic, is a country made up of a peninsula and a group of islands in southeastern Europe. Greece is often called the Cradle of Western Civilization because of its significant contributions to the world. The Greeks developed democracy, made significant science discoveries, created extensive works on philosophy and art, and wrote stories and plays that are still performed today. Greece is also known for its lovely beaches and hearty dishes.

Greek Food

Speaking of food, the Greek cuisine is a Mediterranean cuisine similar to the traditional cuisines of Italy and the Balkans. The common ingredients in contemporary Greek dishes are meat, fish, vegetables, grains, olive oil and wine. If you happen to visit Greece, make sure you sample some of the country’s toothsome dishes.

Spanakopita is Greek spinach pie with feta cheese, onions and herbs in a crispy and flaky filo dough.

Photo credit: Lokesh Dhakar (Flickr)

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Dolmades refers to rolled young grape leaves stuffed with rice, vegetables and herbs.

Kolokythokeftedes is a Greek appetizer made of zucchini, feta, ouzo, egg, garlic, onion and herbs. The mixture of ingredients is formed into balls or patties and fried.

Souvlaki is a Greek specialty made of tender pieces of meat grilled on a skewer. It is served in different ways: with grilled bread, in a slightly grilled pita with garnishes and sauces, or on a dinner plate often paired with fried potatoes.

Photo credit: pointnshoot (Flickr)
Photo credit: pointnshoot (Flickr)

Moussaka is a popular Greek baked dish made of potato, eggplant, minced meat, tomato, onion, garlic, spices, cheese and béchamel sauce.

Photo credit: Kullez (Flickr)
Photo credit: Kullez (Flickr)

Pastitsio is a baked pasta dish with ground beef and béchamel sauce. This is similar to the Italian lasagna.

Photo credit: Katrin Gilger (Flickr)
Photo credit: Katrin Gilger (Flickr)

These are just some of the delicious dishes that you should try when you happen to be in Greece.

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