Happy Lunar New Year! As we welcome in the Year of the Rabbit, it's important to take a moment to reflect on the rich traditions that come with this festive season.
During this new Year of the Rabbit, we should all be focusing on rest, introspection and working smarter not harder. While the preceding Year of the Tiger was seen as a powerful period of action, and, at times, impulse, the rabbit sign is expected to usher in a softer period focused on self-reflection, Jonathan H. X. Lee, an Asian and Asian American studies professor at San Francisco State University, told NBC News.
Here are some of our favorite Lunar New Year traditions to follow, to make your celebration even more special. I know for myself, as a third culture kid, it's helpful to remind myself every year, to keep the traditions alive!
1) Cleaning your house
Before the lunar new year begins, it's traditional to thoroughly clean your house to sweep away any bad luck and make room for good luck to enter.
2) Decorating with red and gold
Red is a lucky color in Chinese culture and gold symbolizes wealth, so be sure to decorate your home with red lanterns, banners and gold accents.
3) Wearing new clothes
It's customary to wear new clothes on the first day of the lunar new year, to symbolize a fresh start. Bonus if the clothing is red!
4) Giving red envelopes
It's common to give red envelopes filled with money as a gift to children and unmarried adults, as a symbol of good luck and prosperity.
5) Reuniting with family
Family is an important aspect of the lunar new year, so make sure to spend time with your loved ones, whether it's through a big family dinner or a video call.
6) Eating traditional foods
Each lunar new year foods have a symbolic meaning and it's traditional to eat certain foods to bring good luck. Some of the most popular foods include dumplings, which symbolize wealth, fish, which symbolizes abundance, and noodles, which symbolize longevity.
7) Avoid cutting or washing hair
The Chinese character for hair is the same first character in the word for prosper. This means washing or cutting it off on the first day of Lunar New Year is seen as washing your fortune away and dramatically reduces your chances for prosperity and good fortune in the year.
Whatever traditions you choose to follow, make sure to enjoy the company of your loved ones and take a moment to reflect on the new year ahead. Wishing you all a prosperous and Happy Lunar New Year!