Nothing says Happy Lunar New Year than red undies, pork dumplings and dirty unwashed hair. Am I right? Sounds pretty sexy to me.
Lunar New Year is the most important holiday for many Asian countries and ethnic communities around the world. Centuries ago farmers would pray for a plentiful harvest but today it’s more of a time to reflect, relax and wish for prosperity. At the core, Lunar New year centers around family and togetherness. Even today family members travel long distances to be with loved ones for a 15-day celebration ending in a lantern festival.
Asians can be a superstitious bunch. So to ward off bad luck you must not wash your hair for three days, not beg for money (especially from family), keep the kids from crying (uh, someone let me know how this works) and wear red underwear!
What’s your Sign?
2018 is the year of the Dog. In Chinese culture, the Dog represents loyalty and honesty. They’re poor communicators and tend to be stubborn. However, they make the most reliable friends. Men born in the Dog year are straightforward, genuine, energetic although pessimistic.
Men born in the year of the dog are very opinionated. They’re always ready to correct others and defend their stance. On the other hand, women born in the dog year are very cautious. They are indifferent towards people they don’t like, and don’t trust easily. But once they do, it’s permanent. They are intensely protective of their friends and family. Sound like anyone you know?
Our household represents the tiger, ox and snake. Halloween costumes anyone?
Lunars of New Years Past and Present
Growing up in the States my family didn’t make much fuss around the Lunar New Year. I remember wishing my long distance grandparents good health over the phone. Sometimes we’d receive little gifts (aka cash in small amounts). Mom would look ahead to our zodiac predictions for the year. If we were in Asia during the holiday, we would dress up, bow to our elders and slurp up copious amounts of dduk guk (rice dumpling with beef) soup.
Outside of China, the biggest celebration is in San Francisco, my hometown. I think I’ll have to make a pilgrimage in 2020 when the Tiger is up for its turn.
Today I’m more fascinated by Lunar New Year than ever. It holds cultural and societal significance for a sixth of our world’s population. It’s an excuse to share a cultural holiday with friends who otherwise may not take part. It’s special to share with my daughter regardless of whether she decides to take it or leave it when she’s older. I hope one day she texts me a digital red envelope with bitcoin or considers sending me some red granny panties.
What’s your zodiac sign?