Happy Lunar New Year!

 

2015 is the year of the sheep, goat, or ram - all of them can be referred to as "Yang" (羊) in Chinese.

 


Kum-quat: a symbol of fortune and luck.

 


In South Korea, Tteokguk (sliced rice cake soup) is a traditional dish eaten during the celebration of the lunar new year. 



Lion dance in Malaysia (left), and dragon dance in New Zealand (right).  

 


The Lantern Festival marks the last day of the Lunar New Year celebration. 

 


As part of the tradition, Chinese people launch firecrackers at midnight on lunar new year's eve, as well as the first thing on the first day of the new year. 


Lunar New Year originated from the Shang dynasty in China, which ruled in the Yellow River valley more than 3,000 years ago.  Today, Lunar New Year is celebrated by about 1.5 billion people around the world.  It's called Chun Jie in China, Tet in Vietnam, and Seollal in South Korea.  

Traditionally a time for family reunion, Lunar New Year is a public holiday in many Asian countries: in addition to the aforementioned three countries, there are also Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Laos.  And in other parts of the world - from New Zealand to Argentina, from South Africa to the United Kingdom - Asian communities celebrate the beginning of their new year with feasts and parades.  

We curated our favorite elements of the Lunar New Year in this blog post.  At the beginning of this year of the sheep, we wish you a year filled with kindness, generosity, and peace! 

(To buy a sheep for your home, click here.)

 





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