Lunar New Year is celebrated by many throughout Asia and worldwide and marks the beginning of spring and the end of winter.
For countries like China with a long agricultural history, Lunar New Year is significant for many and still remains relevant today. Even in a modern city like Hong Kong, the ‘New York City of China’, businesses close during Lunar New Year.
Growing up in Hong Kong, what I loved most about New Year is the food that my grandma made, and of course, getting red pockets from adults (envelopes filled with money to symbolize good luck) while wearing traditional Chinese clothing.
Legend has it that every lunar year, a monster named ‘Nian’ would terrorize villages and devour crops on New Year Day. Until one day, a mysterious man visited the villages and taught them the secret of scaring Nian away: wear red and make loud noises. That is why during Lunar New Year, we give red pockets to children and celebrate with firecrackers (Disclaimer: firecrackers are prohibited in many places).
Although most of my relatives are still living in Hong Kong, I am celebrating Lunar New Year by hosting dinner at my house with friends and family. The full-day celebration includes watching lion dance for good luck in the coming year and having dim sum with family. Lunar New Year is all about gratitude and hope for a new beginning – show your appreciation for your friends and families!