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The Chinese Year Of The Goat Is Being Celebrated On Reunion Island

World Travel – Reunion Island

Open Eyes Opinion {source: Reunion Island Tourism}

Background Notes: Réunion is a French island with a population of 840,974 inhabitants located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, about 200 kilometres southwest of Mauritius.

Chinese New Year 2015 begins on Thursday 19 February, and ends on 5 March. It is day one month one of the Chinese lunar calendar, and its date in January or February varies from year to year (always somewhere in the period January 21 to February 20).

The Chinese lunar calendar is associated with the Chinese zodiac, which has 12 animal signs: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, Rooster, dog, and pig. Each animal represents a year in a 12-year cycle, beginning on Chinese New Year’s Day. 2015 is a year of the goat. Most commonly called the “Year of the Goat”, some people will refer to it as the year of the Goat, Sheep or Ram.

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 Reunion Island is celebrating Chinese New Year – The Year of the Goat

 In 2015, the official entry in the year of the goat, will be Thursday, February 19, 2015. The goat is the eighth sign in the cycle of the Chinese calendar. According to Chinese astrology, the goat is described as free, creative, and emancipated.On Reunion Island, the Chinese New Year is celebrated everywhere on the island: dragon parades, lion dances, martial arts demonstrations, music and acrobatics, firecrackers… The program is rich in Chinese traditions, and is spectacular and festive. Chinese Eve is originally an opportunity to gather with family and friends.
The traditional Chinese New Year meal consists of a multitude of dishes:

  • egg rolls symbolize luck by their resemblance to gold bullion;
  • chicken in Chinese tradition symbolizes a good marriage and family unification, and it is always served whole;
  • dehydrated tofu is served with stir-fried dishes at many of the New Year celebrations, and its Chinese name means “wealth and happiness;”
  • Chinese dumplings – stuffed dumplings containing a variety of ingredients – and they symbolize wealth because of their resemblance to the former gold and silver bullion;
  • eggs represent fertility, and they are usually colored red (a lucky color for the Chinese) on that occasion;
  • clementines and oranges bring luck and wealth;
  • noodles signify fate, moreover they symbolize long life and should not be cut for consumption but sucked and swallowed;
  • lobster or sea dragon represents the union of man and woman in the symbolism of the dragon and the phoenix (lobster and chicken), and lobsters should be cooked whole, to promote unity;
  • Peking Duck is renowned for its crispy skin and tasty meat, and is lacquered to represent loyalty;
  • seeds (lotus, watermelon…) are widely consumed by the Chinese and represent fertility;
  • shrimp is associated with joy, laughter, and the enjoyment of life;
  • glutinous rice cakes have a sweet taste and are steamed; they symbolize a rich, sweet life, while different filling layers symbolize the growing abundance for the coming year, and their round shape signifies family reunion; and
  • fish is traditionally served at the end of the evening meal on New Year’s Eve and is served whole, with head and tail, representing the desire for abundance for the coming year.

In Chinese custom, Chinese Eve ends with a distribution of money placed in red envelopes to bring luck throughout the course of the year.

The year of the goat  will end February 7, 2016, to make way for the year of the fire monkey. 

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