*Article Update: Please note, the Wing on Wo & Co. Gift Set is sold out.
What is Lunar New Year?
As a brand with Chinese roots and heritage, we look towards Lunar New Year with excitement and immense gratitude as a time to celebrate with our loved ones. If you have never heard of Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year, here is a little bit about what Lunar New Year means in Chinese culture, and how the Mount Lai Team is celebrating. If you celebrate yourself, we would love to know what your yearly traditions are!
Lunar New Year has different names (it may also be called the Spring Festival) and is celebrated differently in different Asian cultures. You may have heard it called the Chinese New Year by Chinese people or Chuseok by Korean people. These are just a few examples of many traditions that mark the new year based on the lunar calendar. Instead of tracking the year through solar cycles, the lunar calendar is centered around lunar cycles. This results in the date of Lunar New Year being different each year. This year it will take place on February 12th, 2021. It is a time to gather with family and friends, eat traditional dishes, and watch parades of red and gold. Main Chinese New Year activities include putting up decorations, eating reunion dinner with family on New Year’s Eve, firecrackers and fireworks, and giving red envelopes and other gifts. However, this year’s celebration will look different from previous years.
The Chinese Zodiac is a cycle of 12 animals, each representing a different year with different meanings. 2021 marks the Year of the Ox, the second animal in the zodiac. For those born in the Year of the Ox, you are defined as reliable, honest, and hard-working. This year can bring a multitude of success if you bypass frustration and seek patience.
The Importance of Food in Chinese New Year
Lunar New Year is full of symbolism and luck, especially with its one purpose: to reunite families together. When it comes to Lunar New Year traditions centered around family, one important event is called a ‘reunion dinner’, that involves a feast of both traditional and ‘lucky’ dishes. Many dishes have a symbolism behind them, mostly pertaining to good fortune, wealth, and prosperity, such as dumplings. Dumplings are symbolic in Chinese culture, as its shape resembles ancient Chinese money. Finding dumplings at a ‘reunion dinner’ is said to be lucky, and bring wealth if eaten before the first hour of the Lunar New Year.
As food is such a central part of Chinese culture and the celebration of Chinese New Year, we want to highlight the efforts of Send Chinatown Love. Send Chinatown Love is a New York based, volunteer run organization, whose goal is to provide relief to small, immigrant owned, Chinatown businesses in NYC that have been impacted by the effects of COVID-19. Unlike other initiatives, they strive to reach cash-only, pen-and-paper businesses that aren't able to use most gift card, donation, or app delivery solutions. For Lunar New Year, they are hosting a digital neighborhood food crawl to help people celebrate while supporting small businesses in need. If you are based in Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Queens, please join us in supporting their cause! You can learn more here.
Luck & Red Envelopes!
In the trend of obtaining luck, there are also various Lunar New Year taboos that one should follow if you’d like to have good fortune in the new year such as wearing red + new clothes.
One of our favorite traditions (and something that we are so excited to share with you!) is the giving of red envelopes to bring wealth and prosperity. These bright red and gold gifts contain money, and are meant to be given to family, children, friends, and even co-workers as a gesture of kindness. To celebrate Lunar New Year, each Mount Lai order will come with a red envelope (while supplies last!) as an appreciation for your support in our brand.
From the Mount Lai Team, we wish you prosperity, health, and bright new beginnings!