The Lunar New Year Is Approaching: An Important Tradition & Celebration!
As the Lunar New year (also called Spring Festival or Chinese New Year) is approaching on February 19, I wanted to share some of my knowledge of the longest and most important celebration in many Asian countries, like China and Korea. I’ve celebrated this festival in Hong Kong and mainland China several times, and there are always many interesting quirks and traditions.
This is a wishing tree. You write a wish on a red piece of paper, and connect it with a string to a mandarin orange. Then you use all your might to throw the orange up, hoping that it’ll hook onto a branch! If you look closely, the red papers are actually in the shape of a horse—this picture was taken in 2014, the year of the horse. This year, the papers would be in the shape of a goat!
A lantern would make a great sticker, right?!
Some people follow the custom of burning incense for either their ancestors or the many gods, in hope of a blessed year ahead. As you can see, red is an important color for the new year! It symbolizes wealth and good luck.
And some people like to parade. In the back of the crowd, there was a lion dance going on (where two people dress up in a red lion costume and dance to drums). It is believed that the loud noises and lions will scare away the bad spirits and bring peace.
While the Spring Festival is a time of family reunion and preparation for a joyful and prosperous new year, it is also an excuse to eat lots of good food and candy.
This Thursday, I will be having my own New Year’s celebration by making dumplings! How will you be celebrating?
Stay warm and Happy Lunar New Year! - Chara