And a and/or Gong hay fat choi, depending on your dialect, to you! It's Chinese New Year's! Lunch is on your Asian-American friends, who should be flush with red envelope cash today.

It's the year of the rooster on the 12-year Chinese lunar calendar, and people born either this year or who are turning multiples of 12 are supposedly independent, hardworking, and aren't afraid to tell you about it (roosters crow in all languages, we suppose).

Along with the ringing-in of lunar calendar year 4703 comes the usual spate of well-meaning celebration of cultural difference yet sometimes vaguely-Orientalist news coverage -- for instance, those of you trying to do business in Asia may have some wacky hijinks trying to get in touch with folks who've gone home for the holidays!

For those of you who are less inclined to set off firecrackers or shake down the elderly for oranges, Jeff Yang gives some practical suggestions on celebrating Chinese New Year in a more modern way.

The annual Chinatown parade not this weekend but next, on the 19th. This weekend, though, is the also-beloved Miss Chinatown USA Pageant, at the Palace of Fine Arts.

Picture of coffee-table book about chickens from Chronicle Books

Gong xi fa cai