Yesterday, Chinese communities around the world quietly bid farewell to the horse and passionately welcomed the goat. Characterized as an auspicious animal, the goat is kind, benevolent, helpful, trusting, and has a strong sense of kindheartedness. Its quiet influence signifies a year of promise and prosperity.
The festivities and celebrations of the Lunar New Year are deeply rooted in luck, prosperity, and fortune. Lion dances are preformed to frighten off evil spirits. Red envelopes, filled with money, are exchanged for prosperity. And food (including long noodles, dumplings, sweets, and fruits) are eaten for good fortune.
During a quick trip to the grocery store yesterday afternoon, I hastily grabbed an armful of Fuji apples (they’ve become a staple in our home the past week because of their unusually crisp texture and sweet, juicy flavor). The big, round nuggets of goodness were gently tossed into a nondescript produce bag and placed in my cart without further inspection. When I arrived home, I pulled the apples from the bag, removed them from their white styrofoam cages, and started placing them in a fruit bowl. To my surprise, and total excitement, I noticed that one of the apples was embellished with Chinese characters. A fortune apple! How cool is that?!
I returned to the grocery store today to buy more fortune apples, but I couldn’t find any. Not a single one. It appears as though the unusual, and more expensive, fortune apple was mistakenly mixed in with the ordinary variety at a processing facility in China. I’m convinced it’s a sign of good luck coming our way!