Today is the Chinese New Year (CNY) Eve, and starting from tomorrow, we are in the Year of Boar according to the lunar calendar which is followed by Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Singaporeans, and Koreans all around the world, for thousands of years.
I was at the Time Square NYC and saw the Chinese New Year celebration commercials on wall of the Time Square Tower. The next thing I saw: Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chen sending New Year greetings in CHINESE to billions of Chinese netizens and Donald Trump’s granddaughter singing a Chinese poem in Chinese. Later, an email from one of my Irish descendant sent me a message telling me the 5% Chinese in her wanted to know what was the authentic way to celebrate CNY.
The world is a big family now, and Chinese New Year is becoming everyone’s festival.
Today, I want to do a light an fun intro of it. How is it relevant to losing weight? — Some of my readers might ask.
Well, having fun is always an intrinsic part of sustainable weight loss. It means eating great food, enjoying great time, and living authentic self. And in case you didn’t know it, food, satisfaction, and fun is what this festival is about.
“So it’s the same thing with Thanksgiving and Christmas where the whole family sits together over food and celebrate?” You’d ask.
Yes and no. And there are a few distinctions:
1. It’s a mass transportation movement.
You are spot on when saying it’s a family event because a week before the 15-Day CNY holiday starts in China, you’ll see the universe’ biggest mass traveling event. It’s like the whole country is moving — with billions of people driving and taking the train or plane traveling hours and even days altogether, at the same time. Every airport is crowded with people. Every train station is full — and often time so full that one person has to lean on the next. And every highway is jammed. People would do everything to go home at that time — to some, it takes 2-3 days of train, then bus, then car just one way.
2. It’s a crazy 15-Day Nationwide Feast — calories and carbs are enthusiastically welcomed!
People in China are OBSESSED with eating and everyone calls themselves “Chi Huo” (吃货) which basically means ‘eating machine.’ And we are talking about a country where 98%+ people don’t give a damn about calories, everyone eat tons of carbs a day growing up, and perhaps 2% (at max) are regularly going to the gym yet can still remain chopstick skinny on the large scale.
And when I say that they really go wild on eating during the CNY Holidays, I want you to imagine sitting at the table with 15-20 home cooked dishes ready to dive in and feast. And it’s a 15-Day feast with different parts of the family and often-time friends too.
You might be wondering — aren’t people there afraid of gaining weight? Some might gain 1-2 pounds. But over time they always manage to lose them without expressively giving attention to it just because of the long-run lifestyle they have.
So eating is a huge part of the festival. However, it doesn’t stop here. In China, it’s the time when the entire country post about how full their table is, how good and delicious the food looks, and how stuffed everyone feels after eating. Pictures are widely shared on the internet by almost everyone — from the ordinary people to the nation’s top movie stars, singers, athletes, and even political leaders. Open your internet browser or phone, you won’t escape the flood of food p*rn.
That’s how much we love food. However, to say that food is the main focus would be wrong because it’s who to enjoy the time and food with that matters way more. And it’s meant to be a family moment — a part of the sweetest memories in life.
Since I’m in the US and my family is in China this year, we’ve been celebrating the 2019 CNY a little differently — by shrinking it from 15-day celebration to 5-day celebration, starting from the Saturday before.
So here’s how we are doing it:
Day 1. Friends came over to our house and we made dumplings together.
Day 2. Gathered at a friend’s place and enjoyed a whole day of feasts and entertainment. 16 Dishes, and we cleaned all plates!
Day 3. A different friend’s place for food and karaoke.
Day 4. (today). Another friend’s place for celebrating the New Year Eve with lots of food as always and watching the grand TV celebration gala together.
Day 5. People coming to our house for celebration, and I’ll get to experiment some new recipes and get complimented by EVERYONE at the table.
There’s absolutely no calorie counting (you don’t even think about it for a second), no avoiding carbs, no thinking about weight loss, no feeling scared about food, no feeling bad after eating. Instead, there’s ONLY fun, satisfaction, and tons and tons of freedom.
3. Kids make a fortune!
The ‘Red Bag’ tradition is unique to the Chinese and Chinese descendants around the world. And here’s how it goes:
During the holiday, every kid gets a paper red bag with money in it — either right before the dinner on the New Year Eve or when they greet family members and family friends at the other occasions.
That’s why the kids are so excited about the Chinese New Year festival. In fact, I was given ‘red bags’ by my grandparents until I got to 24 years old and got married, per my grandpa: “you are always a kid until you are married.”
Nowadays kids get to keep their money more whereas when I was a kid, my parents would take what I got and wrap it in a different bag and give it to others. The big fortune I collected which could be worth $800-1000 USD came and went faster than lottery money.
4. It’s a fashion show everywhere.
Women LOVE the new year festival. In China, it’s a long-standing tradition to wear new clothes on that day, and that alone is what makes many women salivate for the holiday starting from 3 months ahead of it — especially in the old days where people didn’t buy as many new clothes as they do today.
The New Year gatherings are like fashion shows with every woman having that radiating glow, and it all follows the fun of new clothes picking that happened way ahead of time. Many different kinds of red, purple, and green are considered auspicious colors because they are bright and colorful. And once you buy the clothes, you WAIT until the New Year Eve to wear it — after a relaxing, soul-cleansing shower, and before you appear at the dinner table. You will wear the same outfit on the following days — carrying the blessing, beauty, and jubilant energy into the new year. And it’s during these days when we get to see all the old faces in new look!
My New Year Outfit for 2019: a deep purple contemporary styled Qipao made of wool which is very sexy and warm, which I’m waiting to wear tonight before the New Year Eve dinner party tonight. Below is the seller’s demo pic, I got exactly the same one for this year, but I’ll wait until its debut tonight to take a photo.
I will probably pair this Qipao with a pair of emerald-green high heels.
This post is too short to cover everything fun about the Chinese New Year and there are so much more that make the holidays the most exciting time of the year — The fireworks, the new clothes, food feasts, re-uniting with family members that we haven’t met for the whole year, the little red bags, the red lanterns everywhere outside, the national grand TV celebration gala, the shopping malls that open till midnight, the restaurants that are filled with people toasting for the whole year of health and prosperity coming in the new year, etc.
I hope you enjoyed the scenes and moments described in this post. Also, it’s moments like these that remind me of the true purpose of living — happiness, fulfillment, satisfaction. If you think you can’t get true happiness without feeling comfortable in your skin, remember happiness, satisfaction, and pleasure are the real (and only) path to sustainably lose the weight.
When you are struggling, fighting your body and your mind to diet and starve, you lose both happiness and your chance of losing the weight for the long run. If you want to know how to lose the weight with SIMPLICITY and PLEASURE like my clients did, book a free 60-minute breakthrough call with me, and I’ll show you the way.
Happy Chinese New Year!!!