Thursday, February 7, 2008

New Year, New Beginnings

Happy Lunar New Year! After we immigrated to the U.S., I never paid much attention to the Lunar New Year. To me, the New Year starts on 1/1. That date doesn’t change year to year and it’s just easier to remember. In the recent years though (ok, fine, just starting this year), I am more interested in celebrating the traditions of the Lunar New Year. Since I don’t know much about it, I looked it up on Wiki and here are some traditions I am going to practice this year!

1) Red envelopes. Apparently now that Luke and I are married, we have to give out red envelopes to unmarried juniors. I’ve always thought that even if you were married, but with without kids on your own, you would still get red envelopes from the elders. Well, I guess this year we need to give some out to Luke’s nieces and nephew. Good thing I have some dollar bills in my wallet. 2 bucks each, since the amount of money should be of even numbers!!

2) Wear new clothes from head to toe. Bonus for red clothes. Score! I just bought a new red sweater from JCrew not long ago. I’ve only worn it 3 times, and in my book, as long as it has been worn less than 4 times, it’s still new. I don’t have any new pants though. However, I do have a pair of ballet flats that I got from DSW (Dear Sugar Wugar) last weekend. Still brand new, in the box.

3) Reunion dinner. The reunion dinner is held on New Year’s Eve. I can check this one off my list because I went home last night to my parents’ house for dinner. Luke is away on business so I was on my own. My parents also invited old family friends and it was nice to catch up. My brothers didn’t make it though – one is currently in sunny Oahu and one is currently in freezing Chicago.

4) Days before the New Year. On the days leading up to the first day of Lunar New Year, you are suppose to give your home a thorough cleaning. I can sort of check this one off the list too. Last night I wiped the dining table, kitchen, fireplace, TV, and the coffee table before I left for my parents’ house. I have swept away the bad luck and our home is now ready for good luck! It is important not to clean on the first day (so if you haven't cleaned, you missed the boat) because good luck may be swept away.

5) Second day. This one is Pargo’s favorite. On the second day, people are extra kind to their dogs and feed them well. It is believed that the second day is the birthday of all dogs. I also read somewhere that people become vegetarians for that day and feed their dogs meat. So babes, I guess we are having veggies tomorrow and the drumstick in the fridge is GoGo's.

6) Fifth day. In northern China, people eat dumplings on the morning of fifth day. I already have 3 bags of frozen dumplings in the freezer! Now just need to remember to get up extra early next Monday morning and cook…

7) Seventh day. According to tradition, this is the day when everyone grows one year older. I think I will skip this one and pretend ignorance. I am in no hurry to grow up.

8) Fifteeth day. The last day of the Lunar New Year festivities! Light candles so wayward sprits can come home.

I wish everyone a prosperous year! And have fun embracing your culture!

For more information on Lunar New Year, visit Wikipedia. I especially enjoyed reading the "superstitions" section.

Other sites to visit are this, this, and this. All pictures here are borrowed from Wiki.

1 comment:

  1. Good gawd, we definitely broke almost every one of those rules. Other than feeding Gogo two hefty drumsticks, we violated everything else. Oh well! We enjoyed the time with family and overenjoyed the food. So what's the fastest way to drop 15 lbs?

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