While for most people I know, the next holiday they’re anticipating is Valentine’s Day on February 14th, I am preparing to celebrate a different holiday – Asian New Year – on February 10th =) Unlike January 1st, which for me is nothing more than having to remember to stop writing 2012 on any paperwork, Asian New Year is a pretty big deal to me. Giving gifts among family as well as to family friends are an implied part of the holiday. Within my family, gifts aren’t exchanged between parents and children, but rather between one family and the family of the in-laws. Gifts are also given to close or long-standing family friends, but not FedExed or UPSed. Gifts to family friends are hand-delivered to them in their homes, after sitting down and making polite chit-chat over coffee or tea.
We also have certain superstitions on New Years Day. One of them is that whoever is the first to visit your house is supposed to bring you good luck. Another one is that whatever you do on New Years determines how the rest of your year will be – so no fighting or bickering or anything of that sort because it brings bad luck for the rest of the year. A third one is that no money is to be spent on New Years, because it means you will lose money throughout the year. There’s a bunch of little details that go into this holiday, but that’s a little snippet of it for you.
Although I’ve been referring to it as New Years Day throughout this post, it actually lasts a few days. I think it may vary depending on different people, but my family usually does at least 3 days.
Just as a side note, while I enjoy celebrating this holiday, one of my biggest pet peeves always seems to rear it’s ugly head every year around the time of this holiday, and that is when people refer to this holiday as Chinese New Year, as China is not the only country to celebrate this holiday. Let’s everyone refer to it as Asian New Year to include all the other countries that celebrate it as well, yes?