Chinese New Year: Appreciating the Chinese Culture
The Chinese New Year, otherwise known as the Lunar New Year, is an annual holiday in China and Chinese communities. I bet you’re wondering, “why is Dime Bags talking about this?”. Well, it is important for us to acknowledge and respect this celebration, not only for our Chinese customers, but also our business partners in China. We also believe that it is crucial to educate yourself on other cultures to prevent racial divisions and promote an overall better understanding of each other. We preach “Don’t Judge Me”, and we won’t judge you either. No matter what culture you come from, we are all just humans on a floating rock.
What is Chinese New Year?
Chinese New Year is an annual celebration that begins with the new moon that occurs sometime between January 21 and February 20th. This is a time to invite prosperity to your year and welcome good luck. Technically, the Chinese New Year is a 40 day celebration, but the Spring Festival is 15 days. This year, the Chinese New Year officially begins on February 1, 2022. People in China get the dates of the celebration off of work to relax and enjoy the Spring Festival. The name, Spring Festival, reflects the ending of winter and the beginning of the new Spring season.
Every year has a designated zodiac animal. These zodiac animals play a large role in Chinese culture and each sign has a different meaning and is attached to an element - Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood. For example, 2022 is the year of the Tiger and the element is in Water. You can look up your sign here!
How is it Celebrated?
In China, the New Year is a time to stop all business life and focus on spending time with family as well as honor deities as well as ancestors. There are many traditions associated with the Lunar New Year such as the festival of lanterns and gifting red envelopes filled with money to children. The color red is actually a good luck charm meant to bring good fortune and abundance in Chinese culture.
Food is also a huge part of Chinese New Year. Each dish served during Chinese New Year represents something important. For example, the noodles are made longer than normal noodles to symbolize a long life and “golden” fruits will often be eaten to represent wealth. It is important to understand that these traditional meals will also vary depending on which region of China you are in.
Even if you’ve never celebrated Chinese New Year before, you can still acknowledge the holiday and Chinese culture. The most important thing is to respect that your Chinese friends, family, coworkers and acquaintances might be taking time off during this time to celebrate. You can also support your local Chinese community by eating at Chinese-owned restaurants! Not only is this a great way to try some authentic Chinese foods and expand your palette, you’re also supporting these local communities.