One of my favorite things about creating a family is the mixing of cultures and traditions between the parents. (You might remember back to my post on why Cheerios and Racism don’t mix!)
Growing up, I was always aware that every family had its own unique set of traditions and while I loved my own-I was sometime envious of other families.
One of the celebrations that was new to me was Tết (in Vietnamese) or as you might know it Lunar New Year–or Chinese New Year depending on who you speak with– occurring between the last ten days of January and first 20 of February .This year Tết is being celebrated on January 31 welcoming the Year of the Horse.
As with any culture, each family celebrates the New Year differently and participates in various traditions and beliefs. For my family, one of my favorite ways to start out is by making sure that our home is clean by the New Year as this symbolizes getting rid of any bad fortunes from the previous year and starting out fresh.
My daughter’s favorite way to celebrate is the traditional food served–I’m so glad she has a much more adventurous pallet than I do! She also appreciates the red envelopes she receives from older family members containing a small sum of money.
While these are some of the ways that we celebrate at home, Dallas actually has several different public celebrations in honor of the Lunar New Year which are fantastic ways to immerse yourself in a rich culture and learn more.
Here are a few Lunar New Year observances and events you can find taking place around the city:
- On January 25, Dallas Public Library is hosting a free Chinese New Year Family Fun Fest at the Central Library. Starting at 2:00, families can participate in crafts, listen to music and stories and sample traditional treats served during the New Year.
- Each year, my family has personally made it out to the Crow Collection’s Chinese New Year Celebration. Last year, this free celebration welcomed over 10,000 people and they expect it to only grow this year with performances every half hour between 10-6, food trucks and more.
- February 8 at 7:30, UT Dallas kicks off the year of the horse with performances and demonstrations. Cost is $5 and located at the Alexander Clark Center.
- Trader’s Village has a full weekend planned February 8-9 complete with an Opening Ceremony, lion dancing, food, music and crafts and much more! $3 to park, admission is free between 10-5 each day.
I’ll admit that since I have only been celebrating the Lunar New Year for a small amount of time, I still have much to learn which is why I appreciate that our own city has so many ways to get involved.