Have any of you been to East Asia? Around February? If yes, then you probably have seen streets lined in red and gold, firecrackers flying here and there and tons and tons of flowers. Yes, it is one of my favorite times of the year and a traditional I love to follow.
The Lunar New Year (Vietnamese: Tet) is based on the Lunar Calendar, which just happens to land somewhere around February. Many Asians (including Vietnam) celebrate this holiday because of China’s big influence in the region. Also, each year represents an animal and also brings you the traits of the animals.
This year it is the year of the pig/boar. In Vietnam, we consider the pig lazy and gluttonous but also an animal that brings affluence. You will see so many piggy banks in the shape of the pig in that country. So I am going to especially get my finances in order this year.
Anyways, one thing we do is hand our lucky envelopes. Inside there is usually money, and it can be any amount that you can afford. Anyone can receive an envelope, but the envelopes are geared more for children and the elderly. The working generation provides the money.
I give one to my parents, and if I could, my grandparents. I want them to live a very very long life, so I always wish them a lot of health. For the children, you want them to do well in school and be kind to their parents.
It is simple, but I think it highlights what is important to Asians: Eduaction and respect for our elders. If you have the chance to go and celebrate a country’s holiday, please do so. Of course, it will be fun, but you will also learn a lot of the people’s value.
Happy Year of the Pig! I hope all you globetrotters have a prosperous year