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Chinese New Year 2017: Celebrating Year of the Rooster with Fam

Falling on Saturday 28 January this year (tomozza!), Chinese New Year is very nearly upon us and I am delighted to say that it is the year to my celebrate my animal sign – the year of the Rooster. Feel free to hold back on the "I always knew you were a cock**" jokes. The Rooster is probably not the most immediately impressive animal, but just think of...okay, I can't think of a single impressive thing they do.

Anyway, for me, as a BBC (otherwise known in the circles as a "British Born Chinese"), it's a great time of year and a good excuse to eat some delicious food with friends and family. This year, we are having Chinese hot pot, which for the uninitiated consists of a simmering metal pot of stock at the centre of the dining table with lots of random raw or cooked food surrounding it, waiting to be chucked in for stewing. Be it raw prawns, squid, scallops, lobster or any other seafood, noodles, raw meat, Chinese vegetables, tofu or even chicken testes (I kid you not, I experienced this once (and once only) in a restaurant in Hong Kong) - this can all go in to be cooked to the preference of the individual diner, making it an elaborate communal stew-fondue-buffet experience. A gazillion sauces are also available for consumption with the food and the whole experience is a very informal affair.

I also like taking this opportunity to try and teach the kids about what it means as a celebration and how it ties in to their mixed heritage. Given their age, they don’t have a clue what I am banging on about except maybe for my four year old son, who has some inkling, but I see it as building in an annual routine that they can grow to learn about and hopefully feed their curiosity to know more about the underlying culture.

Aside from the food, the Chinese zodiac is most commonly associated with Chinese New Year. The kids can identify slightly with it as you assign them their animal. They may not like what they are given but that's tough. Besides, once I tell them I am a Rooster, they think that this is hilarious enough to accept their own zodiac signs – Dragon, Horse and Monkey. Much cooler than a chicken!

Now, I am not into the whole horoscope thing, but I do think it is mildly amusing checking out what your supposed traits are from your animal sign. So, for all you Roosters out there, this is you:

Strengths Independent, pretty or handsome, courageous, capable, warm-hearted, has self-respect, quick minded, honest, bright, communicative, ambitious and prefers to dress up.

Weaknesses Impatient, critical, eccentric, narrow-minded, selfish, difficulty relating with others, blindly egotistical, over-zealous, pretentious and materialistic.

It is pretty uncanny how the lords of horoscope have managed to accurately capture merely some (ahem) of my positive characteristics in a short list, but I have no idea what "prefers to dress up" means. I assume it means "prefers to look smart", rather than "prefers to don a Wonder Woman costume". Though, I am sure I would look great in a Wonder Woman costume, what with being "pretty or handsome". I'm the pretty type in case you were wondering.

But, what is going on with the negative traits!? Basically, this is the precise personality traits of Donald Trump, which makes me Donald Trump. Wait a sec...is he a Rooster? *quick Google* Nope, hilariously he is a Dog! Maybe, the horoscope analysis is correct after all. Maybe, his recent grabbing comments can be traced back to his Chinese zodiac sign and he just can't escape his dog characterised fate of grabbing parsley*. Still a horrible human being.

Anyway, enough of this blogging malarkey, I need to hurry back (impatient) to the ineptitude (critical) of the comedy theatre leprechauns on the sparkly sparkly box (eccentric), poncing around on-screen humiliating themselves (narrow-minded) for my entertainment and probably wasting my precious time (selfish) in an attempt to please the simple-minded audience (difficulty relating with others) with their bad jokes and inability to solve easy maths and alphabet based conundrums which I could do without looking at the screen (blindly egotistical) because I just absolutely love puzzles, I really do, I love them more than my children (over-zealous), although I am probably the best dad in the world (pretentious) as I will buy all my children Hublot watches when they reach five years old to go with their Salvatore Ferragamo shoes (materialistic). AKA watch 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown on TV. Gosh, that was a bit contrived.

So, Happy Chinese New Year y'all. May your CNY be filled with joy, prosperity and rest (lots and lots of uninterrupted rest). Kung Hei Fat Choi!

FYI, here are some of the world's most famous Roosters (in case you gave half a sausage*):

Zayn Malik, Britney Spears, Guy Sebastian, Justin Timberlake, Roger Federer, Debby Ryan, Paris Hilton, Sam Smith, Jennifer Lopez, Bob Marley, Christina Milian, Daniel Day-Lewis, Eric Clapton, Alicia Keys, Goldie Hawn, Natalie Portman, Groucho Marx, Jennifer Aniston, Lili Simmons, Jennifer Lopez, Serena Williams, Matthew Perry, Melanie Griffith, Mia Farrow, Michael Caine, Michelle Pfeiffer, Keyshia Cole, Renee Zellweger, Rod Stewart, Kelly Rowland, Steve Martin and Yoko Ono

* Sticking with substituting swear words with food. Food game strong.

** Does double entendre count as swearing? Discuss.


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