The Lunar New Year is here and those who are celebrating have already been waiting for this celebration for months. If you have never celebrated the Lunar New Year or have never heard of it at all, there are a few traditions parents should familiarize themselves with to show respect for this sacred time.
You should not confuse the Lunar New Year with Chinese New Year as they are not the same and generally people have referred to Lunar New Year as Chinese New Year leaving out many cultures and countries from the celebration. Lunar New Year is celebrated in China (also known as Spring Festival), Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, Philippines, Indonesia, North and South Korea (known as Solnal), Vietnam (known as Tet), Tibet (known as Losar) and in the United States.
Many superstitions are surrounding the Lunar New Year and you will want to familiarize yourself with the things to avoid so that you don’t bring bad luck to yourself or anyone else. There are many superstitions and the most important part to remember is to avoid anything that might bring bad luck in the New Year. You should always make sure to respect these superstitions when you or your kids are around anyone who celebrates Lunar New Year.
Cleaning and washing (and not cleaning and washing)
One of the most important parts of the Lunar New Year superstitions is to clean and prepare your home and yourself before Lunar New Year's Eve. Once the celebration has started you are not allowed to clean anything as this will remove all your good luck. So, if you forgot to clean or take out the trash before February 1st you will have to wait a few more days to make sure you are not ridding yourself of any good luck.
Family is always important and Lunar New Year is no different. In China specifically, this time of year also marks the world's busiest travel season because of how many people will travel to be with family or to go on vacation with their family. Make sure you take time to spend with your family and especially the children in your life.
Many may have already seen the red envelopes filled with money which are passed around during the Lunar New Year. These envelopes are given to children and unmarried individuals by elders who wish them luck and fortune in the new year.
Food is at the center of the Lunar New Year. Just like many other aspects of Lunar New Year food carries with its specific meaning as well. Fish is one of the most important foods to eat during Lunar New Year and you will want to include long noodles for longevity in the New Year.
If you want to celebrate any holiday that does not belong to your own culture the most important thing you can do is to do your own research. Read a few different blogs and articles to learn what is appropriate and what is not. Most importantly you should always be respectful, so once you have educated yourself you should still be mindful of how you bring up the subject when you are around people who belong to the culture you are celebrating.
Since Lunar New Year has a lot of do’s and don’ts the most important thing you can do as an observer is to show respect for those who celebrate. If you are lucky enough to know someone with personal knowledge about this celebration you should ask them how you can show your support and respect in the best way possible.