Having a partner who is from Hong Kong, I have been fortunate to annually celebrate Lunar New Year with her family. Leading up to Lunar New Year, her family spends full days shopping for groceries and preparing food that will be ready to be cooked on the day of celebration.
While waiting for dinner, the family will hand wrap wontons and dumplings. This is a beautiful tradition that represents the family reuniting and becoming whole together. I love this part because, not only is it a fun activity, but we end up with tons of dumplings to take home.
During dinner, we’ll be served traditional foods that symbolize luck and wishes for the year. Similar to how you’ll find pancit and round fruits on New Year's Eve, Lunar New Year has staple foods that have special meaning like: longevity noodles (long, healthy, happy life), whole fish (wish for abundance), eight treasure rice (great fortune), and glutinous-rice balls in sweet syrup (togetherness and reunion).
After dinner, her family will pass red envelopes (symbolizing good wishes and good luck) filled with money. The night typically ends with some fun, competitive games of mahjong.
I love celebrating Lunar New Year with her family. It has been a great way for me to feel connected to her and their rich culture. With the Lunar New Year traditions being so similar to how my Filipino family celebrates New Year's Eve, this is a great reminder, now more than ever, that really, we are all more alike than we are different.
To the New Year - Year of the Tiger,
Director of Operations, Product Design Lead | Sarap Now
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