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Good Luck Life    by Rosemary Gong order for
Good Luck Life
by Rosemary Gong
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2005 (2005)

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

In the Foreword to Good Luck Life, Chef Martin Yan says that this book 'paints vivid details of all shades and colors that make up that shadow which is our Chinese heritage.' Rosemary Gong says of her own work, 'Good Luck Life is a map to invite good fortune, practice honor, and deflect evil.' She has attempted to make the connection between how and why the Chinese do what they do, by detailing 'historical facts, legends, common practices and foods surrounding the Chinese holidays.'

She explains the Chinese calendar, then moves on to Chinese New Year, a time of new beginnings. As with most cultures, Chinese culture is filled with stories and myths that have no basis in modern life but have evolved through many years to become holidays or important times in someone's life. These holidays are often celebrated without the celebrants' awareness of why they are special days. Rosemary Gong has attempted to set the record straight on such things as why the Chinese believe '8' is a lucky number, and why the 60th birthday is a time for special attention. 'From Dragon Boat races to the Hungry Ghost Feast, from wedding dowries to newborn gifts this is the all-in-one guide for anyone interesting in learning more about Chinese holidays and customs.'

Gong has compiled a fascinating compendium of an ancient and honorable culture. Good Luck Life has everything you always wanted to know about Chinese holidays and customs in an easy-to-read form.

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