Lunar New Year has always held a special place in my heart. Having grown up in a Korean-Taiwanese household, I remember celebrating this holiday in a myriad of ways. On one hand, I would eat delicious Korean rice cake soup made by my mother, while on the other hand go watch a lion dance performance at my father’s Taiwanese temple. Even though the highlight of this holiday growing up was receiving red pockets with money from my parents, I have grown to understand a more profound and meaningful perspective to it.
First, the Lunar New Year is an opportunity to welcome new health and prosperity. With the various rituals, food, and activities, they all have very symbolic meanings. For example, the dumplings that we make by hand are made to resemble ingot, or blocks of gold, which are meant to bring in prosperity.
Secondly, this holiday is an opportunity to spend quality time with your loved ones. In many other Asian countries, this holiday will put the entire country on hold for a few days, and even weeks, in order to let loved ones reunite and rest. I don’t really know of many other cultures that will go to such lengths to preach the importance of familiar connection!
All in all, I am grateful for this holiday and time to reflect and renew for the new year. I wish everyone a happy and prosperous Year of the Ox!
Julianne Nieh is a 5th year business student studying at UBC. She was born and raised in Burnaby, BC in a Korean-Taiwanese household. She has a passion for entrepreneurship, world travel, learning languages (she can currently speak 4!) and adding inspiration and compassion in the world through her interactions with others and her various endeavours. She is the current first-runner up of the Miss Chinese Vancouver 2020 Pageant.