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Happy Year of the Rabbit

Mini orange trees are traditionally displayed for Chinese

Mini orange trees are traditionally displayed for Chinese New Year. Here, they are sold at a market in Shau Kei Wan in Hong Kong. Photo Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus

Gung Hay Fat Choy! (Best wishes and congratulations. Have a prosperous and good year!) Here on Long Island you may need to be reminded that today is Chinese New Year, the first day of 4709, Year of the Rabbit.

I’m just back from a trip to Hong Kong, where no reminder is necessary. In the weeks leading up to the 15-day New Year’s celebration, stores are stocked with all manner of celebratory red items—paper lanterns, banners, dangling ornaments and the red envelopes, “hong bao” that are filled with money and given to children and service providers. Establishments that don’t sell New Year’s decorations festoon themselves with them.

It’s also traditional to display miniature orange trees, and the markets are crowded with three-foot-high groves. (Pictured here, orange trees at the outdoor market in the Shau Kei Wan section of Hong Kong.)

Here on Long Island, you can avail yourself of these New Year’s events or just celebrate at one of our favorite Chinese restaurants.

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