February 10 is the Chinese New Year!
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February 10 is the Chinese New Year!

Posted on Friday, February 8th, 2013 at 8:00 am
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In 2013, the Chinese New Year falls on the 10th of February, which officially marks the beginning of the year of the snake. The Chinese New Year is the most important of all of the traditional holidays as it marks the first day of the Chinese calendar. It is also the longest celebration of the year spanning 15 days of food, festivities, and celebration. Much like the American New Year, the Chinese celebrate starting fresh in the new year and coming together with their friends and family.

Here in America, we can also celebrate the culture and meaning behind the Chinese New Year through delicious meals, fireworks, parties and more! Since there are so many healthy Chinese dishes, you can also take it a step further and use it as a way to test out your organic or eco-friendly lifestyle. We’ve come up with a few ways you can celebrate naturally:

Cook a Traditional Chinese Meal

Food is a huge part of the Chinese New Year celebration. Families come together to enjoy traditional meals like dumplings, fish, duck and more. Certain foods carry superstitions and are thought to be good luck if consumed. For example, displaying or eating tangerines and oranges is thought to bring wealth and luck. The pomelo is thought to bring prosperity and status while long noodles promise  a long life.

You can celebrate naturally by purchasing organic ingredients before preparing your traditional Chinese meal.

Make Paper Crafts

Crafts are a great way to get the entire family involved in your celebration. There are several projects you can do make with paper that reflect the Chinese culture and celebration. Paper crafts are a fun, frugal activity since you can use leftover construction paper, wrapping paper scraps and old newspapers or magazines to make some beautiful creations. You child can decorate their project with crayons, markers, stamps or stickers.

Mother Nature Network features some great paper crafts like lanterns, good luck goldfish, fans, and more!

Celebrate Your Furry Friend

The Chinese New Year is about celebrating the special friends in your life. Some believe that the second day of the new year celebration is the birthday of all dogs, which truly are man’s best friend. Show some special love for that furry friend in your life by giving him or her a special organic treat. You can even find some great natural treat recipes online to make your own!

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.