Happy New Year! 恭禧发财, Gong Hey Fat Choy!
Yesterday was Chinese New Year, Year of the dog. This Lunar holiday is widely celebrated in Chinese and Asian cultures. Even though I am not Chinese, nor was raised celebrating this holiday, I have been bombarded by an overwhelmingly warmth by my boyfriend Ray's family, who kicks off Chinese New Year with a huge feast.
Ray's mother has six sisters, six sisters! They lived in Vietnam, and migrated to the US as refugees in the 70's. Once they moved and settled in California, they only had each other. I can imagine this is another huge reason why Chinese New Year is also very important to them, it represents fortune, luck, health, prosperity, happiness and wealth.
While sitting down at the table, the table is filled with delicious dishes, new and familiar faces, and warm conversation.
At the end of the dinner, I was generously given 红包 ( hóng bāo) from all the Aunties, which are small red envelopes filled with lucky money and given to younger generations. By giving the money, the elders are hoping to pass on a year of good fortune and blessings. Married couples are also expected to give red envelopes to their unmarried friends to transfer some luck!!!
I love Hong bao, not only because its a gift, but I love how it is given to everyone. Even when I was dating Ray for only a few months, I was given the envelopes even though it was my first time meeting some of his family!
Chinese New Year is a really fun celebration, and even inspired me to design a new mini collection for Amarilo, check it out here.
If you would like to hear more about the background of Chinese New Year, or find your Lunar animal sign, check this link here.