Time to Celebrate! Chinese New Year is Feb. 16

 In Food & Dining, Holidays, Sushi

Just when you thought the holidays were over – there’s one more you won’t want to miss. Chinese New Year falls on Feb. 16 this year, so if you are not feeling struck by cupid on Valentine’s Day, consider joining in with a whopping quarter of the world’s population to celebrate this fun holiday.

While the holiday falls on a different day each year, it’s always celebrated during the 15-day Spring Festival season, stretching from Chinese New Year to the Lantern Festival.

Chinese New Year is the most significant holiday in China as well as surrounding countries. In fact, most employees in China are given at least seven days off for this holiday season and children get a one-month reprieve from school. It’s also become a popular celebration in China towns around the world and is one of the globe’s most celebrated holidays.

There are many traditions that surround Chinese New Year, the biggest perhaps is celebrating by having a reunion dinner with family. Children are given beautiful red envelopes stuffed with money, which in folk culture is believed to keep children safe. Fireworks used to drive away the evil spirits, are set that rival even the best Fourth of July displays.  Decorations, mostly red, include an upside down fu, dui lian, lanterns, year paint and paper cuttings.

Chinese New Year also starts a new animal’s zodiac year, with 2018 being the year of the Earth Dog – making it especially exciting for the staff at Three Dog Ink, since our name alone indicates just how much we love dogs.

Another custom, including not washing clothes (or your hair for that matter), is a thorough cleaning of homes to welcome in the new and discard the old.

Traditional foods eaten on this holiday are noodles to ensure happiness and longevity; dumplings and spring rolls for wealth; sweet rice balls for family togetherness, rice cakes for higher income; tangerines and oranges for fullness and wealth and fish for an increase in prosperity.

Speaking of food, while the Outer Banks doesn’t have a China town, it has plenty of great restaurants that serve traditional Chinese fare to help you celebrate.

In Kitty Hawk, Sanya Sushi has a complete sushi bar and hibachi grill as well as a great selection of Chinese favorites.  Another wonderful place to ring in the Chinese New Year is Shun Xing Chinese Restaurant. Specializing in Szechuan, Hunan and Cantonese style, Shun Xing offers a wide variety of Chinese favorites.

In Kill Devil Hills, the Thai Room Restaurant & Bar has been offering authentic Asian cuisine for more than 20 years and makes the perfect place to celebrate the Chinese New Year, whether you dine in or take out. And Taiko Japanese Restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy the freshest sushi assortment as well as delicious Japanese dishes, including udon, yakisoba, katsu, shrimp tempura, teriyaki entrees and more.

So even if you can’t be in China come Feb. 16, it turns out there are plenty of great restaurants here on the Outer Banks to help you bring in the new year!

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