Happy Lunar New Year! This year, February 12, 2021, marks the start of the Year of the Ox in Chinese culture. Called the Spring Festival in China, Seollal in Korea, and Tet in Vietnam, Lunar New Year marks the beginning of the lunisolar calendar and is one of the most important holidays of the year. In the Chinese culture, this holiday marks the end of winter and the beginning of the spring season; observances traditionally take place from New Year’s Eve, 2/11, to the Lantern Festival, held on the 15th day of the year, February 26th.
The Yang Chan family of the Green Cluster celebrates the many traditions associated with this major holiday about luck, happiness, health and, most importantly, family. Highlights include big hot pot dinners with family, handing out red envelopes filled with money to children, and wearing red, the luckiest color in the Chinese culture. Typically families across multiple generations get together to make dumplings and watch fireworks and lion dances to ring in the new year. Though we will not be celebrating with family this year due to COVID, we will be sure to continue the traditions within each household and come together virtually.
Based on the 12 year cycle Chinese zodiac, this year is the Year of the Ox. See below for the story of the zodiac calendar, but for those of you born in the years 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, and 2009, remember to wear red to bring good luck for the year!
Below are some helpful resources to give you more information on our many customs, such as recipes for traditional Chinese dishes, and ways to learn about and celebrate Lunar New Year!
- Chinese New Year Celebrations, When and How to Celebrate (2021)
- Story reading behind Nian (why we wear red, set off firecrackers and decorate)
- The story behind the Chinese Zodiac Calendar
- Sticky Rice Ball (Tang Yuan) Recipe (Tang Yuan symbolize unity; their stickiness represents how family stick together)
- Chinese Pork Dumplings Recipe (Dumplings which resemble gold/silver ingots, symbolize wealth). This recipe is by Anita Lo, a Michelin star chef
Lauren and her family would like to say, 新年快乐 , Xīnnián kuàilè, or Happy New Year!