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The Luminous Tradition of Lunar New Year: A New Beginning  

By Geremy Garcia  


Background  

Lunar New Year is one the most significant traditional holidays celebrated in East Asian countries. Its date is based on the lunar calendar, which is determined by the cycles of the moon. The event usually occurs between late January to mid-February.  

 

Beliefs & Culture  

It is said that Nian, a monstrous beast, would come during the New Year to feast on human flesh. It was discovered that the beast showed fear of the color red, loud noises, and fire. Celebrators hang red lanterns around their dwellings and set off firecrackers in hopes of scaring the monster away. Along with this, celebrators completely clean their homes. This is to welcome good spirits and say goodbye to the bad spirits.  

 

Food  

The food consumed during the Lunar New Year has various meanings:  

• Dumplings represent family.  

• Long noodles represent longevity.

• Fish represent abundance.  

• Oranges and tangerines represent happiness and good luck.  


Reflection  

This is a time of year in which families come together to cherish their history. It symbolizes the beginning of life, in which all people can start anew. Think about what you can do to celebrate this tradition in your household. As we enter the year of the dragon, invite loved ones to join you in celebration.

 


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