Studies prove that red is a color that attracts men and women. Luckily, it’s also the traditional color associated with Chinese New Year celebrations (money is given in red envelopes; red clothing’s worn head-to-toe by celebrants, and red lanterns are hung everywhere), so why not take advantage of this alluring color’s flirting powers to find love during the 15 days of festivities beginning on January 23, 2012? Here’s a quick cheat sheet on everything you’ll need to know:
- It’s the year of the Water Dragon. There are 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac; each one reigns for a year and is modified by one of five different elements (fire, air, water, earth and wood), creating a 60-year cycle. Famous people born under the sign of the Dragon include Colin Farrell (Fire Dragon), Liam Neeson (Water Dragon), Raquel Welch (Metal Dragon), Lenny Kravitz (Wood Dragon) and James Brown (Earth Dragon).
- Find a nearby event, festival or parade and start flirting. The Chinese New Year parade sponsored by Southwest Airlines in San Francisco has been around since the 1860s, making it one of the oldest and longest-running cultural celebrations in the U.S. Other major cities with celebrations include Houston, the Golden Dragon parade in Los Angeles, The New York Philharmonic’s annual gala, the annual parade and festival through New York City’s Chinatown neighborhood, festivities sprinkled throughout the Washington, D.C. area and events in Honolulu, Hawaii’s Chinatown district.
- Once someone’s caught your eye, chow down on some dumplings together. Other lucky traditional foods for Chinese New Year: oranges, tangerines, whole fish/chicken, long, uncut noodles and melon candies. If you prefer cooking at home over dining out, here’s a guide to creating your own traditional feast to share with your sweetheart.
- The celebrations culminate in the Lantern Festival (also known as the Spring Festival or Chinese Valentine’s Day). It’s traditional for people to purchase a colored lantern signifying one’s hopes and dreams for the coming year and to light them; however, there are regional variations of this tradition throughout Asia, so choose the one that resonates most with you.
- Get your personal love horoscope for 2012 based on the Chinese Zodiac. Couples can check their compatibility with each other, while singles can see which signs to watch out for amongst potential mates.
Now that you’ve studied our primer, how will you use the color red this year to attract someone? A dash of ruby-hued lipstick (for women) or monochromatic tie (for men) seem like obvious choices, but what other bold accents will you use to enhance your looks and drive others wild? Tell us in the comments!