Lunar New Year is an ancient festival celebrating the new year in China. For most of my life, I had never heard of Lunar or Chinese New Year and didn’t think much of it. Until that is, I married my husband, who is half-Japanese and half-Chinese. He introduced me to the fantastic celebration and all of the fun elements associated with it.
This year, the Lunar New Year is on January 22. There are so many fun ways to celebrate with your entire family!
1. Find Your Zodiac Sign
2023 is the year of the Rabbit. Lionel Messi and Brad Pitt are rabbits, so I feel it’s a good sign that 2023 will be beautiful! Finding out your zodiac sign is really fun. For example, my son is a dragon, and I am a dog. Those two creatures don’t get along. Spoiler alert, we often don’t get along! You can find out your zodiac sign here!
When my husband and I were young and living in Los Angeles, we went to the Chinese New Year festivals, which were so fun. Even though we are 2400 miles away, Des Moines has many festivals to choose from. Jester Park is celebrating, and the South Side Library is having a Lunar New Year Scavenger hunt. Find a festival near you and join in the fun!
Noisemakers and firecrackers are traditional ways to celebrate Lunar New Year. Your neighbors may not like it, but your kids will love you for it! You can always get the ones that shoot confetti 🙂
4. Red Envelopes of Money
I remember the first time I was slipped a red envelope, I was confused because it wasn’t my birthday. Traditionally for Lunar New Year, it is common to give red envelopes filled with money. The envelopes and money symbolize good luck and well wishes for the year ahead. Who doesn’t want a red envelope of money??
5. Get Creative
I know, it’s January, and it can get cold, and kids can be kids, so sometimes you don’t want to leave your house. You can still celebrate! Make your own dragon dance or craft paper lanterns. Eat a special “lucky dinner” with oranges and tangerines.