Lunar New Year: A Time for Family, Food, and Fun
Updated: Feb 6
Lunar New Year, also called Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, is one of the most important traditional holidays in China, Vietnam, Korea, and Singapore, among other Asian countries. It is usually held at the end of January or the beginning of February, when the lunar calendar changes.
Families typically get together to celebrate the Lunar New Year by taking part in traditional activities and food. The reunion dinner, where families gather to eat a special meal together on New Year's Eve, is one of the most important traditions. This meal usually comprises of dumplings, fish, and noodles, which symbolize wealth, good fortune, and long life. In Vietnam, people often eat traditional dishes like Banh Chung (sticky rice cake) and Banh Tet (Vietnamese savory glutinous rice). Traditional Korean foods include Tteokguk (soup with sliced rice cake) and Japchae (stir-fried glass noodles with vegetables and meat)
Other common things to do aside from visiting friends and family include cleaning the house to get rid of bad luck and make room for good luck and giving food to their ancestors and gods as gifts.
The Lunar New Year is also a time when people typically wear new clothes and adorn their homes with red lanterns, banners, and couplets. It is believed that red is a lucky color and that it keeps away evil spirits. To celebrate the new year, people light fireworks and give red envelopes filled with money to children and unmarried adults.
The lion and dragon dance is one of the most important parts of the Lunar New Year. The lion dance is a traditional Chinese dance where people wear lion costumes and mimic the movement of lions to bring good luck and money. The dragon dance is another traditional Chinese dance that is done during the Lunar New Year and other cultural, religious, and traditional Chinese festivals.
During Chinese New Year, some traditional games are also played, such as:
Mahjong is a popular tile game that can be played by four people.
Dice games are played with a set of dice and a special board or tray.
Pitching pennies, also called "coinsticking," is a game where players try to throw small coins so that they land as close to a target as possible.
A lot of people also take part in physical activities like dragon boat races, temple fairs, and martial arts shows.
In the Chinese zodiac, there is a 12-year cycle. Each of the 12 years is linked to a different animal. The rabbit is the fourth animal in the cycle, and 2023 just so happens to be the year of the rabbit!
In Chinese culture, the rabbit is seen as a kind and lucky animal. It is linked to good luck, kindness, and grace. People who were born in the year of the rabbit are thought to be polite, artistic, and sensitive. It is also believed that they are also good with money and investing.
The year of the rabbit is seen as a year of peace, prosperity, and calm. It is also often said that it's a good year to start a relationship or a family.
Isn’t the Lunar New Year fascinating?
In conclusion, the Lunar New Year is a time for families to get together and celebrate the new year with traditional food, activities, and customs. So this year, make wishes for luck, wealth, and happiness in the coming year. Happy New Year of the Rabbit!