Lunar New Year begins 2023

 


 Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, is a major holiday celebrated in China and other Asian countries. The date of the Lunar New Year varies each year, as it is based on the Chinese lunar calendar, but it typically falls between January 21st and February 20th. The holiday is traditionally celebrated with a variety of customs and traditions, including the exchange of red envelopes filled with money, family reunions, and the eating of special foods. The Lunar New Year is celebrated for 15 days, until the Lantern Festival, which marks the end of the celebration.
Lunar New Year is not a national holiday in the United States, but it is celebrated by many Asian-American communities. Many cities with large Asian-American populations, such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City, have Lunar New Year parades and festivals that feature lion and dragon dances, traditional music and dance performances, and food vendors. In addition, many Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese American families will celebrate the Lunar New Year with family gatherings, special meals, and traditional customs. Even though it's not a national holiday, Lunar New Year is celebrated in many American cities and communities with a significant Asian population, and it is becoming more widely recognized and celebrated in the United States.
During Lunar New Year, people typically participate in a variety of customs and traditions. Some common activities include:
Cleaning the house: Many people will clean their homes before the new year to sweep away any bad luck and make room for good luck to come in.
Decorating: Homes and streets are decorated with red lanterns, banners, and other decorations to symbolize good luck and happiness.
Family reunions: The Lunar New Year is a time for family to come together and celebrate. Many people will travel to be with their loved ones during the holiday.
Giving red envelopes: It is a tradition to give red envelopes filled with money to children and unmarried adults as a symbol of good luck and prosperity.
Eating special foods: Special foods are prepared and enjoyed during Lunar New Year, such as dumplings, fish, and glutinous rice cakes.
Fireworks: Fireworks are set off to drive away evil spirits and to celebrate the new year.
Lion and dragon dances: Lion and dragon dances are performed in many communities to bring good luck and fortune.
New year's Eve dinner: Family gather around to enjoy dinner together, the dinner is usually with the most traditional and specific food of the culture, like dumplings or Jiaozi in China.
There are many traditional foods that are eaten during Lunar New Year to symbolize good luck and prosperity. Some examples include:
Dumplings (Jiaozi): These are small, crescent-shaped pockets of dough filled with meat or vegetables. They are often eaten on New Year's Eve and symbolize wealth and prosperity.
Fish: Fish is a traditional food for Lunar New Year because the Chinese word for fish, "yu," sounds similar to the word for "wish" or "abundance." Eating fish is said to bring good luck and prosperity in the new year.
Noodles: Long noodles symbolize longevity, so they are often served during Lunar New Year to wish for a long life.
Tangerines and oranges: These fruits are often given as gifts during Lunar New Year because their round shape and bright color symbolize wealth and good luck.
Glutinous rice cakes (Nian Gao): These sweet cakes are traditionally eaten during Lunar New Year because the name, "nian gao," sounds similar to the phrase "higher year," symbolizing the desire for a higher status or greater success in the new year.
Spring rolls: Spring rolls are a popular Lunar New Year food because they symbolize wealth and good fortune. They're often filled with ingredients like meat, vegetables, and mushrooms, symbolizing prosperity and longevity.

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