The Lunar New Year (same as Chinese New Year) is in one week! I’ve always been drawn to the allure of Asian culture- the food, art, zen and taoist philosophies, the beautiful languages (both written and spoken), and the list goes on. So I always enjoy partaking in Lunar new year even if it is in some small way.
Traditionally, Lunar New Year, or the Spring Festival as it is also known, is a time to celebrate new beginnings as well as one’s ancestors and relatives who have passed away. The celebration continues for a number of days until the fifteenth of the first calendar month, which is called the Lantern Festival. According to chinahighlights.com, the Lunar New Year is celebrated with food (dumplings!), festivities like the dragon and lion dances, firecrackers and fireworks, and red envelopes which are traditionally filled with money and given to the children of the family. Homes are usually decorated with various signs of good luck or possibly red lanterns. I always like to go to the local Asian market for cute New Year decorations.
This year will be the Year of the Monkey! The monkey sign of the Chinese zodiac is a smart, quick-witted, charismatic one. Read more about Lunar New Year 2016 here.
If you want to join a celebration in the Gainesville area and learn more about Chinese culture, the University of Florida will be holding a festival on Sunday, February 7 and you can find out how to get tickets here!