Whereas folks across the globe welcome the brand new 12 months by counting right down to midnight on December 31, members of Asian communities additionally rejoice new beginnings throughout Lunar New 12 months, which begins on February 1 in 2022. Whereas Lunar New 12 months is often known as Chinese language New 12 months, the vacation – which spans the primary 15 days of the primary month of the lunar calendar – can be celebrated throughout Asia and Southeast Asia in international locations like Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Tibet, Mongolia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. China’s Lunar New 12 months is called the Spring Pageant or Chūnjié in Mandarin, whereas Korea calls it Seollal and Vietnam refers to it as Tết.

Asian Individuals within the U.S. rejoice Lunar New 12 months in their very own methods, mixing traditions from the East and West to fulfill our distinctive cultural identities. Whereas touring and spending time with family and friends is on the coronary heart of Lunar New 12 months, with the pandemic, many are celebrating with their family members nearly and navigating the time variations over FaceTime, KakaoTalk, WeChat and Zoom. Whether or not you’re an immigrant, Asian American or an ally, take Lunar New 12 months as a possibility to reaffirm your targets and recharge your hopeful power for the approaching 12 months. In any case, Lunar New 12 months is about beginning on a clear slate, cleaning the adverse and welcoming the constructive, and setting intentions for a affluent, fortunate and fulfilling 12 months — and who doesn’t want some additional constructive vibes on this 12 months of the Tiger?

crowd of people celebrating chinese new year spring festival

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What are the traditions of Lunar New 12 months?

Every nation and each particular person celebrates Lunar New 12 months a little bit bit otherwise with distinctive traditions, meals and festivities, however listed here are a couple of you would possibly expertise.

Cleansing home

It is sensible to welcome in a brand new period with a cleanse, and those that rejoice Lunar New 12 months typically put together for the vacation by actually cleansing each nook of their home, or no less than attempting to. Dr. Jianguo Chen, an associate professor of Chinese at the University of Delaware, says, “It’s customary for folks to utterly clear their homes to do away with unhealthy fortune from the outdated 12 months.” In China, after cleansing, folks adorn their homes with the colour purple in kinds like festive scrolls, people portray, paper-cuts, and lanterns. “Brilliant purple is the preeminent shade of festivity, symbolic of fine well being and fortune, wealth, prosperity and longevity,” he says.

Providing greetings

Whereas we greet folks in January with a fundamental “Blissful New 12 months” within the U.S., numerous Asian international locations have completely different sayings of their respective languages. In Korea, to honor elders, folks say “Saehae bok mani badeuseyo,” which implies, “Please obtain lots of success for the New 12 months.” Chen says that in China, folks greet one another with phrases like “Gōng xǐ fā cái” in Mandarin and “Gung hei faat coiin Cantonese, which imply “Wishing you a cheerful and affluent Chinese language New 12 months.” In Vietnam, folks say, “Chúc mừng năm mới,” which merely means “Blissful New 12 months” in Vietnamese.

Gathering with household

Like every other main vacation, Lunar New 12 months is a time to be together with your family members, and for a lot of, it’s the one time a 12 months they journey again to see their households. “Sometimes, on the primary day of the pageant, folks would pay a go to to their aged and revered by providing good needs,” says Chen. Journey guides typically warn of congested streets and overbooked worldwide flights throughout the interval. Coming from completely different components of the globe, a number of generations of household collect to eat the household reunion dinner, catch up, and reminisce throughout Lunar New 12 months.

Giving and receiving purple envelops

Nothing signifies Lunar New 12 months extra in popular culture than little purple envelopes adorned in gold and full of money. Throughout a go to to older kin, individuals are normally gifted cash in these purple envelopes, often known as Hónɡ bāo in China. Within the Philippines, the purple envelopes are known as Ang Pao and Vietnam calls them “Li xi,” or “fortunate cash.” In Korea, nevertheless, cash from the elders known as sae bae don, translated as “new 12 months’s cash,” is normally given not in purple however in white or patterned envelopes.

Shopping for new garments

To refresh the wardrobe and prep to impress the grandparents, individuals who rejoice Lunar New 12 months will typically buy and put on new conventional clothes. In Korea, folks put on conventional garb known as Hanbok for formal events and holidays, together with Lunar New 12 months. Ladies’s Hanbok consists of a protracted skirt and a brief jacket in colourful patterns and lustrous supplies. In China, girls can put on Qípáo or Cheongsam, a high-necked and sometimes short-sleeved costume, for the vacation.

a sky full of lanterns celebrating the end of the lunar new year

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Attending a lantern pageant

In China, Lunar New 12 months ends with the Lantern Pageant, a celebration that features people dancing, conventional video games, lantern parades, and dragon and lion dances. Folks additionally eat glutinous rice balls, known as Yuánxiāo or Tāngyuán, that are candy treats with numerous fillings like black sesame, peanuts, purple bean, rose petals, and rock sugar. In line with Chen, in China, the Lantern Pageant is typically often known as China’s Valentine’s Day, the place singles hope to satisfy their new flame. He says, “For sure, setting off firecrackers is a vital a part of the Chinese language New 12 months and likewise of the Lantern Pageant.”

What meals are historically eaten for Lunar New 12 months?

“Holidays are about consuming, and the Spring Pageant [in China] is especially so,” says Chen. You would possibly see:


Whereas some affiliate moon truffles with Lunar New 12 months, the delicacy is definitely used for the Mid-Autumn Pageant. Dumplings, or Jiǎozi in Mandarin, are a staple for Lunar New 12 months celebrations. “Because the form of Jiǎozi seems like gold ingots used as foreign money within the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), consuming Jiǎozi, so it was believed folklorically, would convey prosperity,” says Chen. “Some dad and mom would even cover a giant clear coin inside a Jiǎozi for the fortunate child to seek out as a desk sport on Chinese language New 12 months’s Eve.”

chinese new year food and drink still life

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Rice Cake Soup

For Seollal, Korea’s Lunar New 12 months, Koreans eat Tteokguk, actually translated as “rice cake soup.” The savory soup is made with skinny disk-shaped rice truffles that resemble cash, which symbolize prosperity. In Korea, they are saying you get one 12 months older once you eat a bowl of rice cake soup. The dish, which is made with water, small chunks of beef, inexperienced onion, egg, and rice truffles, is predominantly white in shade, which signifies purity and new beginnings.

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