Lunar New Year

Happy Lunar New Year to all readers!

The Year of the Tiger 2022 starts on February 1 and lasts until February 16. It’s an important holiday for millions in China, Korea, Vietnam and Japan. Celebrations last for days and include parades, special foods, and fireworks.

The new year of the tiger marks a beginning of a fast-paced year.  Tigers are known for strength and bravery. People born during the year of the tiger are courageous, adventurous, and daring people.

I am most familiar with Chinese new year celebrations as, for many years, we lived in Markham Ontario which has a very large population of immigrants from Hong Kong and mainland China. In the shopping malls, restaurants, even in my bank, the energy level picked up as the lunar new year approached. Red couplets graced doorways; red lanterns decorated stores; the bank handed out red envelopes with 25 cent coins to customers.

yellow and red plush toy
Lunar New Year — Photo courtesy of Scribbling Geek on Unsplash

People rushed around preparing for celebrations. Houses got cleaned; new clothes purchased; hair was freshly cut. You can read my observations about these festivities here

Our Celebrations 

Nobody in our family is Chinese, but in the tradition of families coming together for feasting, we will have a special meal to acknowledge the day. Please don’t think this to be cultural appropriation!  Rather, it’s an excuse to order a great meal from our favourite Chinese restaurant for our weekly family dinner.

We’ll share the meal with our son, daughter-in-law and our two grandchildren.  To honour the tradition of a red envelope with money in it, I’ll place a small envelope at each place where our grandchildren sit. The envelopes are red as this colour is associated with luck, good fortune, prosperity and blessings. I’m sure what’s in the envelope will be of more interest than what giving the envelope signifies in other cultures.

Menu offerings such as dumplings (symbolizing wealth), spring rolls (symbolizing gold bars) rice cakes (symbolizing success), long noodles (symbolizing longevity), will be part of our food order.

Spring Festival

Lunar New Year is also known as the spring festival.

pink flowers
Lunar New Year is also a Spring Festival — photo courtesy of Tomoko Uji on Unsplash

Spring festival signifies a time of re-birth and reinvigoration. In this deep chill that we’ve experienced in South Western Ontario, a small celebration of the coming spring season will be a great diversion.

Some fresh flowers and fruits will remind us that renewal is coming with the change of seasons.

Many types of flowers including peonies, hyacinths, orchids, peach blossoms and plum blossoms are used in oriental homes to symbolize romance, luxury, growth, and beauty. With the current supply chain issues, I’m not sure which of these may be available in local flower shops but I’ll definitely have fresh flowers in the house to add to the festive feeling.

We do have abundant fruits at our grocery stores.  Cherries, mini-watermelons, pomegranates, grapes and oranges are readily available.  These fruits are round to symbolize wealth, good fortune and prosperity. Fresh fruits are believed to bring good luck to the household.

I’ll close with a happy new year wish to my faithful readers.

Kung Hei Fat Choy ( Happy New Year)!

Enjoy the zodiac predictions for your year of the tiger.

2 Replies to “Lunar New Year”

  1. While the grandchildren may be more interested now in what is in the envelope, I would bet in the long term, they will remember the red envelope and all the other details of your celebration. You are planting a seed to enjoy and appreciate other cultures. Enjoy your celebration and the promise of the coming Spring!

    1. I’m counting on good memories from our celebrations. I consider it my way of ‘putting relationship money in the bank!’

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