- This Lunar New Year is celebrated by Asian Americans in a variety of ways.
- Others are making Banh Chung-style dishes, while others dress up their dogs like dragons.
- They say that the holiday is all about reconnecting with their culture, no matter what their plans are.
Lunar New Year is a holiday that encourages looking forward and appreciation of family and culture.
Even though the pandemic has ravaged many Asian Americans, this ethos has not changed.
“Tet [Vietnamese New Year] is a celebration of hope and renewal, and it symbolizes the opportunities we have ahead of us,”Insider was told by Heidi Pham that her family is Vietnamese. “However, it also serves as an important reminder of who we are and where we came from.”
She also said that the US can be a great place to live. “easy to stray away from traditional practices,”Lunar New Year allows you to speak your native language and cook Vietnamese food.
Pham is one of many millions of Asian Americans worldwide who sees Lunar New Year in a way to reconnect with her roots and remember them, whether she cooks family recipes or wears traditional clothing.
Insider asked readers to share their plans for Lunar New Year. This holiday begins on Feb. 1, and will bring about weeks of festivities.
Some people are keeping to old traditions when they ring in the Year of the Tiger, while others are making new ones.
Below are some of the most popular responses from Insider readers. These responses were edited to ensure clarity and length.
Banh Chung cooking with mom
“My mom and I spent the last week making banh chung together, a New Year activity that stems from our family’s traditions in Vietnam in which they would spend days cooking banh chung for the entire village to celebrate the upcoming New Year. We will also be cooking all of my family’s favorite dishes and look forward to sharing a special meal together that celebrates family, hope, and tradition. The adults hand out li xi to the younger children and we will end the night with traditional games like bau cua and bai tu sac [a dice and card game]” –Heidi Pham (30), social worker
Local festivals: Martial arts performances
“I will be performing martial arts, as well as walking in the fashion show, both while wearing an ao dai [a Vietnamese national garment] at the Tet in Boston festival, which will be hosted at the Flynn Cruiseport. Due to the age of my parents, however, they will be supporting me via a livestream of the event.”-Natalie Nguyen, 21, college student
Give red envelopes to younger relatives
“The red envelopes are given to the younger family members that are unmarried from the elders in hopes that everyone gets rich! Mom and Dad usually give a large bill, with a single dollar bill, with a quarter and a penny.
The tradition of washing your hair before midnight is to wash away the bad spirits, and you do not wash your hair on Lunar New year day to ‘become rich'” -Cindy Yee (42) Administrative assistant
After a long time, it is possible to physically be together again
“The gatherings may not be as large as usual, but we’ll make it work! This time, it’s something we look forward to even more after last year’s celebrations were limited. We’re expecting a bit more normalcy in how [we] cherish this time together.” -Deblyn W, 25, sales manager
Introduce others to their culture
“Spending time with family and eating traditional Chinese food and decorating the house with Lunar New Year decorations,”Angela Chen loves these holiday traditions. She also enjoys “dressing up our family dog in a dragon suit” “making wontons and BBQ.”
Her mother’s fiancé is white, so her family’s celebration is “a blended cultural experience.” -Angela Chen, 26, account executive
Readers share their favourite part of the holiday
“We FaceTime our relatives in Taiwan and we plan to eat around the same time in different time zones” -Angela Chen, 26, account executive
“My favorite part about Lunar New Year is the chance to fully embrace my Asian heritage and culture alongside friends and family. Being in California, we’re fortunate to have a big Asian community and access to many Asian businesses and cultural landmarks. It’s our culture that runs deep, bringing us together and profoundly impacting our lives. Lunar New Year is a beautiful celebration of that.” –-Deblyn Wu
“We always plan a trip to the market and pick up all of the goodies that we need to make the traditional roast pork, long noodles, bean curd, and chicken. We exchange gifts and enjoy the night with stories. We also burn items made of joss paper to send to the loved ones that have passed.” -Cindy Yee
“Honestly there’s so many but 1) Getting to see all of the aesthetics and decorations 2) Wearing very beautiful traditional attire, such as an ao dai and 3) witnessing the community uniting together to celebrate this meaningful holiday.” – Natalie Nguyen