Ever wondered why a lot of Eastern nations celebrate New Years separately than the Western World? We sat down with Chef Felix of Heritage Asian Eatery in Vancouver and he told us everything you need to know about the Lunar New Year.
“Lunar New Year is the new year in which the new moon falls on, which in the western world, we call Lunar (Chinese) New Year. Back home in Hunan province in China, we usually get a very long holiday to celebrate Lunar New Year with family.
Many different Asian cultures celebrate the Lunar New Year. It is predominantly people of Chinese decent but it is observed worldwide. I used to celebrate with my family when I was back in China. Now that I have my family here in Vancouver, we celebrate with my daughter Mya and my wife Lisa.
The Chinese culture uses the lunar calendar, [it] is different than the solar calendar. A lunar calendar is based on the cycles of the Moon’s phases (synodic months), in contrast to the solar calendar, whose annual cycles are based only directly upon the solar cycle.
One of my biggest traditions of Lunar New Year is spending time with family and friends. We also go out for dim sum and dinner. At dim sum, one of the oldest traditions is eating radish cake. At home, my wife makes sure that we have an abundance of fruit.
On the actual day Lunar New years begins, we visit as many of our family and friends as possible. Red envelope exchange happens to represent being prospered in the following year.
If you were to visit a family during Lunar New Year, you would see a lot of chicken, dumplings, and oranges because these are considered lucky to eat during the celebrations.”
Order Felix’s favourite lucky Lunar New Year dish here.