Lunar New Year: home and abroad

We’re rapidly approaching the date for 2017 Lunar New Year, which is January 27th this year. Lunar New Year is celebrated in most of Asia and, fortunately for us, is celebrated locally in many American urban areas.Β However, if this holiday is a mysterious entry in your calendar, let’s discuss Lunar New Year!

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We’ve been fortunate enough to spend Lunar New Year in Thailand and Australia prior to having our kids, so I can tell you that every country celebrates a bit differently, but Lunar New Year is celebrated for 7 days and is the traditional “start of spring” in many countries.

2017 is officially the Year of the Rooster in the Chinese Zodiac and people traditionally spend it by going back to their hometowns and spending time with their families. Prior to the holiday, people traditionally clean their homes to clear out the last year. Then, on the first morning of the year, people who are “Roosters” will visit families to bring luck to their homes by ushering in the “year of the rooster.” A party with food and the exchange of envelopes with money are given out to wish good fortune and wealth for the new year. We purchased envelopes for the girls to hand out to their friends in class.

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Domestically, you can share in Lunar New Year celebrations in many major cities.Β  In Chicago, we have a series of events and our own lantern festival in the crystal gardens at Navy Pier. There is also a wonderful exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago celebrating the Lunar New Year. I encourage you to check out your local tourism boards to find out if something great is happening in a city near you!

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