Why is it “Year of the Pig”?
The New Year begins on January 1st of a new calendar year. For many, the beginning of a new year is considered a national holiday – and signifies celebration of starting anew once again. On the other hand, Chinese New Year (also referred to as the Lunar New Year), is typically marked by a date between late January and early February of the Western calendar. Those who celebrate Chinese New Year recognize this date as the first new moon between January 21 and February 20. This year, the Lunar New Year fell on February 5.
Here’s a few basics on Chinese New Year:
– Chinese New Year is not only celebrated in China. The lunar new year is a recognized and celebrated holiday in many countries, such as Vietnam and Korea.
– There is a cycle of 12 zodiacs that represent different years. These animals stemmed from an ancient Chinese myth. They are: the rat, cow, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, chicken, dog, and the pig. 2019 is the year of the pig.
– It is tradition to wear red and set off fire crackers. Why? Long ago, a mythical beast would eat villagers and children at the beginning of Chinese New Year. Long story short, this beast was scared of the color red and the loud sounds caused by fire crackers. As a result, it is common to see red lanterns, red clothing, and other red decorations around the Lunar New Year.
– Chinese New Year is also called the Spring Festival.
– There are fifteen days of celebration. On the last day – the fifteenth day of Chinese New Year, people celebrate by eating tangyuan, sweet glutinous rice balls.
So, how can you celebrate? It is traditional to clean out homes and start fresh for Chinese New Year. Also, don’t forget to feast! Here are some local Pasadena Chinese restaurants worth checking out!
Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot: A delicious “DIY” meal. Try different broths and sauces, and experience the joy of cooking your meal with loved ones.
Lunasia Dim Sum House: Try some traditional delicacies at Lunasia Dim Sum house! Here, small bites are offered – shumai, dumplings, buns, and more!
Grandview Palace: Prefer ordering dish by dish? Grandview Palace offers many Chinese favorites, such as wonton soup and walnut shrimp!
Happy Chinese New Year, Pasadena! May your new year be filled with happiness and prosperity!