Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year starts today on February 1! It is an exciting celebration for Chinese people. Not only do the Chinese celebrate the Lunar New Year, but other Asian countries celebrate it, too. The Chinese New Year is based on Chinese zodiac signs, and this year is now the Year of the Tiger. Happy new year to those who were born in the Year of the Tiger! What is the significance of the Chinese New Year, and what is the purpose of the zodiac signs or the Year of the Tiger?
Again, not just China and Asian countries celebrate the Lunar New Year, other countries celebrate it as well to join with their Chinese and Asian friends. As a Vietnamese myself, I celebrate the Lunar New Year because it is meaningful to me and my family, and it is significant to Vietnamese people. My family and I enjoy the Lunar New Year; we pray to Buddha to celebrate it and to pay our respects and rituals.
What does the Year of the Tiger represent? It signifies preparing for big changes, and then watch for things to change. People who were born in the Year of the Tiger can prime themselves to take risks in life and be willing to challenge themselves for these changes to occur. Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky, and it is not guaranteed that it will be the best year for all born in the Year of the Tiger. This applies to all zodiac signs of the year; their respective year is actually unlucky.
For Chinese New Year, it is tradition to give small red envelopes that include money; it means best wishes or good luck in the new year. Fireworks shows are significant to the celebration, just like a traditional new year. In western countries, the celebration varies because it may not be easy to find Chinatown to celebrate the Lunar New Year, and not all countries have a Chinatown in which to celebrate. During the Lunar New Year, Asians wear red, and they adorn their homes and businesses with red Lunar New Year decorations.
Chinese New Year food is also a big part of this celebration. There are a variety of items for Chinese New Year food to complement the tradition. If you are not Chinese, it does not have to be Chinese food. You can celebrate the Lunar New Year with Korean food, Japanese food, Vietnamese food, etc. You name it. Or enjoy different Asian food that is not as well-recognized like Thai, Cambodian or Filipino. No restrictions apply when it comes to the food celebration for the Lunar New Year!
I don’t know how to say, “happy new year” in Chinese, but I do know the translation in Vietnamese; it is “chuc mung nam moi!” However and wherever your Lunar New Year celebration takes place, I wish you and yours “chuc mung nam moi!”
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