Lunar New Year🐉

Lunar New Year🐉

Its time to celebrate!

BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! Fireworks pop in the night sky , kids are playing with firecrackers in the streets, people are dressed in beautiful silk dresses in red. Most people call it Chinese New Year, but South Korea and Vietnam celebrate it as much as they do. In 2024, the celebration of the arrival of spring will land on February 10th which will start the Year of the Dragon; the wood Dragon, to be precise. This will start a new beginning of a new year on the lunisolar calendar.

In Vietnamese culture, they call it Tết and decorate their homes with kumquat trees, peach blossoms, chrysanthemums, orchids and red gladiolas. They give a red envelope full of money and write messages to others to bless them with good luck. Then, after the feast, they gamble on the game called Bầu cua cá cọp which translates to ‘Tiger fish crab gourd’. Each round starts after the dealer shakes the dice (covered in a dice bowl/plate). Once the dice have been shaken, players are allowed to guess the at the dice and place wagers on any number of character spots on the game board. Once all wagers have been placed, the dealer reveals the dice by uncovering them.

Koreans celebrate the new year by gathering family members, performing Korean rituals, eating traditional foods, playing traditional folk games, and other such activities. Kids are given cash from older family members, too.
The Chinese celebrate the New Year by having members of the family sit around a big table to have a New Year’s Eve dinner. This is known as Nian Ye Fan (年夜饭). Families burn incense to worship their ancestors. Older and senior member of the family give the younger ones good luck pocket money known as Ya Sui Qian (压岁钱) contained in a red envelop (Hong Bao 红包).

Coming upon us in the 2024 new year is the year of the Dragon. The Dragon represents strength, power, and prestige, especially since it is the year of the Wooden Dragon, it will show success, growth and process.  Many Dragon festivals and parades will be held in the streets with the traditional dragon puppets. Usually in the year of the dragon, people start new projects and goals as a symbol of progression.

The feast of the evening is a special part of the day, to gather around a table and to enjoy a special meal to the ones you call friends and those you call family holds so much importance. Each culture is different when it comes to what it is served on the dinner table. Some cultures do not like to have white foods such as eggs, rice, and tofu, others may consume colorful foods to instill prosperity and happiness into the new year, and many have ingredients cooked into the dishes that symbolize many different things.

There are a multitude of things to avoid during the lunar new year because it may cause bad luck in the new year. It can be avoiding cutting hair, wearing black or white clothing, not sweeping, breaking objects, cursing or swearing, or purchasing new shoes. There are some obvious ones such as no killing, crying or fighting.

People have mixed up the other dragons for the dragon we are celebrating this year. There are 5 elemental dragons: wood, fire, water, metal, and earth. This year, we celebrate the year of the Wooden Dragon to symbolize vitality, creativity, success, intelligence, growth, and honor. Dragon dances are often done in celebration to expel evil spirits along with firework and firecrackers to make lots of noise and light.


After the feast, desserts are my favorite part of the celebration. Moon cakes are often made and devoured to entice good luck into the new year. But there are other delicacies that can be enjoyed such as red bean buns, dragon beard candy, candied fruit, rice pudding, egg tarts, almond cookies, etc. Usually restaurants that serve these types of foods are packed so I would suggest taking them to go.

Many beverages are served as good luck such as the Baijiu, an alcoholic beverage that is distilled with wheat rice and corn. People play many drinking games or they gamble late into the night to celebrate their good luck.

I have a driving lesson and then I have to go to work on the day it is celebrated, so I will be wishing new years to all my loyal customers, but I will also take a couple photos of the celebrations that go around town. After the day is done all my good luck will be used to pray that the San Francisco 49ers win over the Kansas City Chiefs, because the Las Vegas Superbowl is right after the New Year.

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