Lunar New Year and how to celebrate - Patisserie Valerie

Lunar New Year and how to celebrate

Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, is a traditional holiday celebrated by millions of people around the world, particularly those of Chinese descent. The holiday marks the start of the new lunar calendar and is celebrated with a variety of customs and traditions. 


The Lunar New Year of the Rabbit is the fourth animal in the 12-year Chinese zodiac cycle. It typically falls between January 21st and February 20th and the next one will be in 2031. The rabbit is associated with characteristics such as kindness, gentleness, and sensitivity. It is believed that people born in the Year of the Rabbit are elegant, well-mannered, and make good partners. The rabbit is also associated with wealth and success, so it is a good year for business and finances. 


One of the most well-known traditions of Lunar New Year is the giving of red envelopes filled with money, known as "lai see," to children and unmarried adults. The red color is believed to symbolize good luck and ward off evil spirits.



Another popular tradition is the reunion dinner, where families gather to enjoy a feast together. This meal is traditionally held on New Year's Eve and is a time for families to reconnect and celebrate the new year together.


In addition to these traditional customs, many people also participate in lion and dragon dances, which are believed to bring good luck and prosperity. These dances are performed by teams of dancers who wear elaborate costumes and move in unison to the beat of drums and cymbals.



Lunar New Year is also a time for cleaning and decorating homes, as it is believed that a clean and well-decorated home will bring good luck for the new year. People often decorate their homes with lanterns, banners, and other decorations that feature auspicious symbols such as the Chinese character for "good luck."


 During Lunar New Year, a traditional cake that is often served is "nian gao," which is a sticky rice cake that is made with glutinous rice flour. It is said to symbolize a "good and prosperous new year" because "nian gao" sounds similar to the phrase "higher year" in Chinese. The cake can be steamed or pan-fried and is often served as a sweet dessert. It can also be eaten with savory ingredients such as meat and vegetables, and can be made sweet or savory depending on the preference.



Another traditional cake that is often served during Lunar New Year is "tikoy" or "nian gao" in Cantonese, which is a sweet glutinous rice cake that is made from glutinous rice flour, sugar, and water. It's usually cut into diamond or square shape, and it's also considered as a symbol of prosperity, as well as good luck for the New Year.

It's worth noting that the specific type of cake served during Lunar New Year may vary depending on the region and cultural traditions. Some other sweet treats that may be served include sweet glutinous rice balls, sweet rice dumplings, and sweet sticky rice cakes with various fillings such as red bean, lotus paste, and sesame.

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