A Different type of New year

December 20, 2012
We all know of celebrating New Years on January 1st but have you ever thought of celebrating it in the middle of February? Of course not! Around middle February Asian cultures prepare to celebrate their own version of New Years. It can be also known as the spring festival marking the beginning of spring and the end of the cold winter months.

Though the name of this holiday is Chinese New Year’s other Asian countries celebrate it the same way but with their countries name ahead of it. Such as, Vietnamese New Year’s or Korean New year. During this time of year in Asia flowers blossom, the sun shines bright and an abundance of fruits and vegetables are served. In my opinion the best snack to eat during this holiday are dried coconut chews, a word of advice its sticks like Velcro to our teeth!

Like here in America we have some unique myths upon our holidays like the Easter bunny. In Vietnam they believe sweeping your house on New Year’s is sweeping out your fortune. To add to the strange myth list, easting shrimp on New Year’s Day will cause slouching problems in the future! On this holiday houses are decorated with spring colors, such as pink yellow white and red! From infants to toddlers to adults everyone wears traditional clothing that is a part of their culture. For example in Vietnamese they were their unique dresses called Ao Dai and in Korea they wear what they call a Hanbok. With traditional clothing comes traditional food and how we celebrate this holiday.
One the day starts adults give children little red envelopes that contain money for good luck. The family dinner begins with the roasted pig as the main dish along with other comfort foods. The in the afternoon, people head towards the festival to celebrate. The events on this holiday takes place in open spaced areas like a market festival kind of event. Food stands are in every corner, traditional music playing gives a nice, calm spring feeling.

The day is then ended by the traditional dragon dance accompanied by loud thumps of drum sounds moving along to the bead of the way to dragon moves. This is everyone’s favorite part; it is like the entertainment side of the festival. Children are hoisted onto their father’s neck and try to feed the dragons their little money envelopes. Even when everyone loves this part of the festival the loud music and firecrackers can cause damage to ears. Especially those firecrackers everyone loves to light up and watch, either from holding it in their hands to hanging it upon the ceiling or in the air, fireworks are essential to this holiday.

We all have our own holidays to look forward to, such a Christmas, Thanksgiving or Halloween. As for me, Chinese New Year or Vietnamese New year or however you would like to call it, is my personal favorite. Because this is the time of year is when I receive lots and lots of money!

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