Can you tell that my daughter really wishes you a lot of luck and good fortune in the new year with her deep bow? I hope so. We practiced our bow several times along with the phrase in Korean we usually say – “새해 복 많이 받으세요!” (saehae bok mani badeuseyo!) This phrase literally translates to “I hope you receive many new year’s blessings/luck.”
Every year, our family celebrates New Year’s twice. Once on January 1 and the second time, during Lunar New Year. Most of our celebrating happens on January 1st, but we still usually make special food and call one another to wish our relatives a healthy and happy New Year.
There are two things that usually accompany the deep bow to our elders for New Years – money and rice cake soup.
Those who celebrate Chinese New Year will usually hand out these beautiful red envelopes with money, but we usually just give money in a plain envelope. (If you are interested in lucky red envelopes to celebrate Lunar New Year, check out these made by The Dumpling Mama. Thanks to Chrissy of The Dumpling Mama for sending me these! She has a planning guide on her site to use these as well.) The money is usually only given to children, but if you are in luck, the grown-up children will also get to partake!
Our family also eats rice cake soup or tteokguk (떡국). My grandmother makes it the best and it’s one of my favorite things about the New Year. Usually, when my extended family is all together, there is a hubbub of activity from soaking the frozen rice cakes to making the egg strips and on occasion, making the dumplings to add in our soup. The big bowl of steaming rice cake soup is so satisfying and symbolic of the luck to come for the new year.
But more than the food, money, or deep bows, this New Year has been full of heartfelt and genuine wishes for luck, health and joy. Our extended family has gone through a lot in the past year and this New Year was a great way for all of us to shed the past and move forward together. Some of us made resolutions on the first day of the year, but many of us are getting into gear to kick them off on the Lunar New Year. It’s a blessing to be able to celebrate the New Year twice, especially this year. I hope it will mean double the luck and health for each and every one of us.
Happy New Year!
Learn more about our traditions and important issues for the New Year from my fellow #AsianMomBloggers:
- Maria at Bicultural Mama: Baked Egg Rolls Recipe for Chinese New Year
- Grace at HapaMama: Ways to Share Chinese New Year This Year of the Monkey
- Phyllis from Napkin Hoarder: Deep bows, good luck, & celebrating a New Year twice #AsianMomBloggers
- Stephanie from A Family Lives Here: 3 Simple Ways To Celebrate Chinese New Year
- Thien-Kim at I’m Not the Nanny: Why I’m Not Going All Out for Lunar New Year
- Ilina from Dirt and Noise: Jay Chaudhuri – Career Citizen for NC Senate Applauds President’s New Gun Violence Reduction Measures