How to Celebrate the Lunar New Year

A Guide to Celebrating the Lunar New Year!

Written by Joe Chee

Growing up as an Asian American, Lunar New Year was always a big celebration within my family, just as big as Thanksgiving and Christmas.  For my home and 1/4th of the world’s population, the Lunar New Year was a time to gather with family, and to wish all a prosperous and healthy year.  As the co-founder of Ukatsu, I wanted to share this joyous tradition with any and all of our families, regardless of cultural background.

That’s why along with our festive lights, Christmas trees, pumpkins, and turkeys, you may find yourself in a local Ukatsu decorated for the New Year in late January or early February.  Decorations, however, are only a small part of experience, so here’s how you can celebrate the New Year at home.

*Fun Fact*

Did you know?  Hundreds of video games also celebrate the Lunar New Year.  From Fortnite, Overwatch, League of Legends, World of Warcraft and more,  there are plenty of ways to participate, like dropping a few bucks on the latest cosmetics and skins.

Clean the House

I know what you’re thinking: “What kind of holiday asks for us to do MORE work?!” But stick with me for a moment.  Before the New Year and festivities begin, it’s tradition to clean out the house, to de-clutter and to make room for the New Year’s incoming fortune.  

If you’re needing a little more help and inspiration, Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” has recently garnered a lot of buzz.  As of this article, she’s even partnered up with Netflix to adapt her book into a television series.

Wear Red

Last year’s New Year was the Year of the Dog, this year, it’s the Year of the Pig!

Last year’s New Year was the Year of the Dog, this year, it’s the Year of the Pig!

Once you’ve got a clean home, the next step is to dress in bold and beautiful red!  For many cultures, especially in China, red is a symbol of good luck and happiness. Don’t be surprised if you notice the decorations and outfits of your neighbors in this bright color during this time of the year.

Dine with the Family

It’s no coincidence that major holidays include a shared meal at the table with friends and family. Dining together with both the immediate and extended family can strengthen the relationships with all involved.

Leading up to the Lunar New Year, some families eat vegetarian as their first meal.  In addition, the annual family reunion dinner is a great way to catch up with relatives and to wish each other a fortune-filled New Year.

Spread the positivity with your friends, families, and neighbors!

The best part of Lunar New Year is being able to spread the cheer to all the people around you. Good fortune, health, and happiness are staple in the package of well-wishing, and if you really wanted to go traditional, gifting money in the form of red envelopes is one of the ways to gift fortune to another.  (Usually practiced by married couples to singles and adult or elderly people to children)

So whether you’re already celebrating Lunar New Year or are brand new to the tradition, don’t be afraid to join in on the festivities!