I know I am a few days early with this post since the Lunar New Year starts on Feburary 10th. However, knowing that I will be with family on that day and a few days after, I wanted to share a HUGE tradition that is part of my husband’s culture. First I’ll start with the introduction of Mr. C.
Mr. C doesn’t usually make an appearance on this blog, but that will change.
The Lunar New Year is the BIGGEST holiday for people of Asian decent–especially my husband’s family, who are Chinese. This year we celebrate the Year of the Snake.
The tradition is over 5000 years old, and typically lasts 15 days. Starting with the days before the new year: you are supposed to clean your home–like spotless clean. No dust hiding anywhere. I have to confirm this but it’s to sweep out the bad luck and bad spirits that may have dwelled there during the year.
The actual first day of the festival is the day that the firecrackers, lion dances, and families meet, eat and hand out red envelopes. Most of the celebration happens on this day with Lion dances, and fireworks.
Many people choose not to eat meat on this day because they believe that it will ensure a long life span for them.
The red envelopes are given out by the married couples to the parents, and the unwed children of the family. Once you get married, you have to start handing out the envelopes.
The purpose of the envelopes are good luck and a blessing.
I remember when we used to get them (this was before we were married), now that we are married, we have to hand them out. So it was good while it lasted, but now we’re on giving end.
This year may be different for our family. Since little Z is not yet big enough to truly enjoy it (And it is freezing outside–did they say snow in our forecast?), we may just do the visiting of the family. Either way, it will be a big celebration for all of us.
This year, I want to share with a music video about the Lunar New Year. What I like about this, is that they decided to use Rap as their medium to explain their tradition. I guess you can say that the younger generation was really influenced by African Americans. Anywho, I hope you enjoy the video.
And as always, Gung hay fat choy (may you become prosperous).