December 10, 2023

2023 Lunar New Year

January 22nd, 2023 will mark the beginning of the Lunar New Year.

Lunar New Year is the beginning of a calendar year based on the moon cycle and is mainly celebrated in Asian countries and America by Asian descent.

Although there are thousands of articles about the Lunar New Year, the perspective of an Asian American can take you more profound than the surface level.

Lunar New Year has become one of my personal favorite holidays. Growing up and learning your culture’s customs connects you to your ancestors. It’s not just about the day, it’s about the week’s preparation and spending time with your family through it all.

As I grow older, I am able to incorporate myself into the planning process and learn more about what makes Lunar New Year so unique.

Every year, we wish and pray to our ancestors for the same things: good health, luck, and prosperity. We go through cleansing our homes of the bad spirits of the previous year and cook traditional foods to serve our ancestors. The day should be full of celebration and laughter with family. People will either wear traditional clothing or the color red for good fortune.

Traditional Vietnamese clothing for holidays

There comes a time in the day when the children of the elders will hand their parents red pocket money and speak of what they hope for the new year to bring. Red pocket money, or if you’re Vietnamese: Li Xi, is exactly what it sounds like. Money in a red envelope. The money is given for good fortune while the red and gold colors represent good energy, happiness, and prosperity.

This year’s animal is the Rabbit. The rabbit is associated with the earthly branch and is also the Yin in “Yin and Yang”.

Lucky things to come to those born in the rabbit year:

  • Colors: red, pink, purple, blue
  • Numbers: 3, 4, 9

Unlucky things to come to those born in the rabbit year:

  • Colors: brown, gray, white
  • Numbers: 5, 11

This year, the rabbit’s highs will be very high but their lows will also be significantly low. Health, wealth, and safety are areas the rabbit needs to keep a careful eye over.

Although the Chinese zodiac is the year of the rabbit, the Vietnamese zodiac for this year is the cat due to the similar word translation, Mao in Chinese representing the earthly branch and Meo in Vietnamese meaning cat.

While the Year of the Rabbit is considered to be mild and peaceful, the cat symbolizes strength, power, and aggression.