One of my friends and her husband recently moved to the suburbs of Stockholm. She is originally from China and her husband is one of those rare, native Stockholmers. A couple of weeks ago she called to invite us to a party at their new home. It would be a combination housewarming and Chinese New Year celebration. By chance I have another friend with Chinese roots so I asked her for advice for a good Chinese New Year gift, as well as information about Chinese New Year traditions. She gave lots of good advice for traditional gift ideas and she mentioned that wearing something red, specifically something new, is also very traditional.
Just a couple of days ago I picked up salads for dinner at For Friends cafe, one of our local neighborhood haunts. On the way there I passed by a store called Edursdotter. They sell these beautiful, handmade, wool jackets, as well as hats and other accesseries, that are what I like to call "functional art." There was a gorgeous red, wool, sweater jacket hanging in the window for half off of the regular price. I filed it away in my brain, not knowing yet about the "wear something red and new" thing. When I found out however, I immediately thought of the cute, red jacket at Edursdotter. Today when I was out getting a Chinese New Year's and housewarming gift I dropped by and tried it on. It was my lucky day. They had my size and it fit beautifully. Needless-to-say, I left the store with my new jacket and as far as the party and Chinese New Year’s celebration goes, I can happily say that I heeded tradition. I hope the dragon was paying attention.