WHAT IS LUNAR NEW YEAR?
At Gimme, we’re always searching for ways to build community and make connections—and throw a good party. To us, there’s no better time to celebrate and share with family, friends and neighbors than during the Lunar New Year.
Also known as the Spring Festival, the Lunar New Year is one of the most important holidays in many Asian countries like China, South Korea, Singapore and Vietnam. A time for new beginnings and family gatherings, Lunar New Year kicks off Sunday, January 22 with 15 days of colorful celebrations and food-centered festivities.
WHAT DOES THE YEAR OF THE RABBIT SYMBOLIZE?
Lunar New Year is often associated with the Chinese Zodiac, which runs through a 12-year cycle. Each year is represented by a specific animal and its reputed attributes. 2023 is the year of the Rabbit, which symbolizes longevity, peace and prosperity. Predicted to be a year of hope, the next 12 months could offer more opportunities for contemplation, rest and self-care (and it’s about time!)
HOW TO CELEBRATE
Decorate with red.
The color red is associated with luck, fortune, prosperity and abundance. To start off the year on a positive note, incorporate red clothes and accessories into your wardrobe and decorate your home with red lanterns, paper cut-outs and linens. It’s an easy way to set the mood and ward off negative vibes.
Hand out red envelopes.
One of our favorite traditions is exchanging red envelopes known as “lucky money.” Typically filled with cash, the colorful envelopes are decorated with ornate calligraphy and symbols. They’re given to children on special occasions as a way to send good wishes to the lucky recipient. Cash is king but we also like to fill them with chocolate coins or Gimme Seaweed snack packs.
Celebrate with a family feast.
The New Year’s Eve meal or “reunion dinner” is traditionally celebrated with parents, siblings and relatives. Delicacies vary by region but dishes that represent prosperity such as fish, long noodles, dumplings and oranges are always popular. Seaweed, especially black moss seaweed, signifies wealth and good fortune and it’s often included in soups and vegetarian dishes. If you can’t find black moss seaweed, try crumbling our Big Sheets into a soup or over rice instead. (They also come in handy if you’re catching up with family and need a late night snack).
Clear out the clutter.
One of the most important (and practical) traditions is a thorough spring cleaning. Dusting the furniture, sweeping the floors and scrubbing the windows is all part of a symbolic ritual that paves the way for a fresh start, bringing in positive vibes and clearing away any bad luck from the previous year. And it’s not just the house that gets a makeover. A new outfit is also part of the celebrations.
Cue the fireworks.
Many traditions date back to an ancient legend about a terrible man-eating monster named Nian (“Year”) that would attack villagers at the beginning of each new year. The beast was afraid of the color red, bright lights and loud noises, so villagers would bang drums, cymbals and gongs, setting off firecrackers and wearing red in attempts to chase Nian away. Today, many cities host Lunar New Year parades with lion dances and firework displays so mark your calendars, break out your bright red outfit and get ready to make some noise.
We hope these traditions set you up for a healthy and happy Lunar New Year surrounded by family and friends with lots of yummy things to eat. To learn more about Gimme and our deliciously nutritious seaweed snacks, check out our story here.