The Year of the Rabbit
February 3, 2011
On February 3, many people throughout the world will celebrate the beginning of the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Rabbit. The Lunar New Year is celebrated as a public holiday in a number of countries and territories including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Korea, and Vietnam. Students in many of these countries and regions enjoy their winter break at this time as they celebrate the festival.
“Xin Nian Kuai Le!” In the Chinese speaking regions, it is customary for adults to give children a red envelope with money. The red envelopes have many sayings such as, "Blooming flowers bring good fortune," and "Your wish will come true." One particularly popular saying for children is, "May you have great academic performance!"
The New Year's greeting in Korean is, “Se-hae-bok-mahn-ee-baht-eu-se-yo!” It means, “May you receive abundant New Year’s blessings.” In Korea, family members dress in traditional Korean costume, “hanbok”, on New Year’s Day and greet their elders with “se-bae” (a formal bow of respect). From young to old, they wish each other many blessings, health and long life.
In the United States, many local activities take place across the country to celebrate the Lunar New Year. These activities include cultural festivals, parades, firework displays, tea ceremonies and performances. Many schools with Asian populations in New York hold celebratory activities.
Here are some tips for the traditional dos and don'ts:
* Do pay all your debts before the New Year.
* Do wear new clothes in bright colors, especially red.
* Do clean the entire house before New Year's Day.
* Don't sweep for three days.
* Don't use knives and scissors.
* Don't cry.
NYC Lunar New Year parade information:
Chinatown: 11:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Sunday, February 6, Canal Street South
Flushing: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Saturday, February 12, Union Street and 39th Ave
Information courtesy of the Asian Languages BETAC at NYU Metro Center