Happy Lunar New Year

Happy Lunar New Year

February 10th, 2024

2/7/2024 | Marina Montez-Ellis, Garden Program Specialist

One fifth of the world's population celebrates Lunar New Year, it is a celebration of the spring and the arrival of a new year.

This year February 10, 2024 marks the new moon, the beginning of the spring festival and the year of the dragon. The dragon's strengths are intelligence, confidence and enthusiasm. Numerous countries, including Korea, Philippines, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand as well as the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Peru and the United Kingdom celebrate this important festival.

Moon cakes and well wishes are shared as well as remembering your ancestors. Red envelopes containing money are gifted to children and guests as a gesture of hospitality and to bring prosperity.

In Japan, there is a 15-day Chinese festival in Yokohama and Nagasaki. Spectators can watch Lion Dance performances and see thousands of lanterns on the last day of the festival.

In Vietnamese the lunar new year is called Tết, short for Tết Nguyên Đán. This translates as “The Feast of the First Morning,” and is the most important festival in Vietnamese culture. Watermelon is a lucky symbol because of its red color. Bánh chung, a square sticky rice cake and bánh tét, a sticky rice log are also enjoyed during Tết.