5 Ways To Celebrate The Lunar New Year 2017
Happy Lunar New Year’s Eve 2017! This Lunar New Year brings us the year of the rooster and as many people all over the world are preparing to celebrate the coming of a new lunar year, I thought it would be fun to share how we are celebrating it here in Southern California!
What is The Lunar New Year?
Also called The Chinese New Year, it is the longest and most important traditional celebration in the Chinese Calendar. It is the same as our New Year’s, but our calendars are based on slightly different time projections – here is the difference:
The Lunar/Chinese Calendar is based upon the time the moon takes to go around the Earth, versus our Western calendar is based on the time it takes for the Earth to go around the Sun. The days do not aline perfectly, the lunar cycle is about 29.5 days so in order for it to catch up to the solar calendar, the Chinese insert a month once every few years. This is one of those years!
It’s roots go back centuries; it is the most popular public holiday in Asia and begins a 2 week long carnival called The Spring Festival that is celebrated all over the world now. There are parades, family activities, lots of dumplings and customary food and drink, and people are quicker to share a smile during this time.
The Lunar New Year’s marks the beginning of the spring season and is a time to spend with family, friends and loved ones to wish luck and happiness in the coming year. It is filled with fun, simple traditions to invite wealth, prosperity and good health into your life and those of your families.
5 Ways To Celebrate The Lunar New Year 2017
- Plan a Lunar New Year feast with friends and loved ones! There is no better way to celebrate than with those whom you are closest to. Put together a fun menu, make sure to include dumplings as they are a symbol of purses filled with money and wealth in the Chinese culture. Plus they taste amazing and can even be fun to make. Have your littles help you and tell them that the fatter their dumplings are, the more wealth and good fortune they are inviting into their lives! Find great recipes and menu inspirations for your dinner party here at CommunityTable.com. Also check to see if there is a parade near you which would be fun to go to with your family and friends before your feast, there is a great one in Chinatown in LA Saturday from 1-3 if you are in our neck of the woods!
- Decorate your home with red and gold decorations. Red is the main color of the festival because it is believed to be an auspicious color. Have fun making red paper lanterns with your littles (we follow these directions I found at Origami-resource-center.com) then use the flameless candles and put them up! Try making a banner or a red and gold construction paper chain! Have a good time enjoying your children, thinking about the year past and inviting lots of good things to happen to you all in the year to come.
- Give your children (or a good friend) a gift in a red envelope. I put them on their place mats and let them open them before dinner. It may be a love note from me, $1, a gift card or $10, but the most important thing is that I wish them well! People exchange gifts in red envelopes during the Chinese New Year similarly to how we exchange Holiday gifts. The red envelops are used to symbolize the giving of good luck and well wishes to the receiver.
- Plant your intention together! A new lunar year is awakening, symbolizing a great time for new beginnings so let’s literally plant our intentions! Take some time with your family to think about your intentions for the year, then pick out some new plant(s) and enjoy planting, nurturing, growing and caring for something together. It is fun to get a new (or repurposed) planter and decorate it with things that are symbolic to what you are wanting to invite into your home during this new lunar year. Plants are relaxing and promote meditative times for us, by literally planting a seed of intention you are putting it out there that you will make good things happen in this coming year.
- Appreciate! Take some time to reflect and appreciate all that we have accomplished in this last year and all of the opportunities that are upon us for this year. It is nice that lunar new year is after our’s this year, we can really take some time this weekend to reflect and put our good intentions out there!
How are you celebrating the Lunar New Year’s?
Don’t forget that Sunday is the SoCal Museum’s Free-For-All day, how fun would it be to celebrate the Lunar New Year with a family day trip to LA on Sunday?! 😉
Cheers and safe travels!
Malibu Mama Loves Xx