Sunday marked the start of the Lunar New Year, one of the biggest celebrations in the world. Also known as the Spring Festival, the exact date of the Lunar New Year varies each year, landing sometime between January 21 and February 20, depending on when the first full moon occurs on the lunar calendar. Celebrated for thousands of years, this holiday is infused with an "out with the old, in with the new" spirit. It marks the start of a new lunar calendar and it is a celebration of the arrival of spring. Each year, a unique animal and element combination is presented. That combination is thought to bring unique qualities and symbolism to the year. It takes 60 years for the same combination to come around again.
The cycle of 12 Chinese Zodiac animals rotates each lunar new year, with the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water rotating on its own cycle.
2023 is the year of the water rabbit (also called a black rabbit).
The rabbit is a sign of "longevity, peace and prosperity." In California, 2023 is the first year in which the Lunar New Year will be celebrated as an official state holiday. It’s the first time it’s been recognized as a formal holiday anywhere in the U.S.
In 2017 a group of us were fortunate to be in Vietnam and Cambodia during the Lunar New Year which they called Tet.
For them, it is like our Thanksgiving and Christmas combined. Our flight was loaded with people going home to see their families. We got to see first-hand the decorations
and beautiful clothing
that celebrants were wearing.
Just like with our holiday decorations, they have plants that are very symbolic for the Lunar New Year. Lucky flowers supposedly bring in health, wealth, fame and fortune.
The tree we saw a lot was a tropical yellow flowering apricot tree- Hoa Mai.
The Vietnamese people believe this plant brings good luck and wealth into the New Year. Five petals
automatically signify five blessings which are peace, pleasure, longevity, convenience, and happiness. We also saw a lot of what we thought were artificial cherry blooms,
but they were actually peach blossoms which also bring luck.
The cities were highly decorated, with a lot of real and fake flowers.
1958 (the year I was born) was the year of the earth dog. Earth dogs supposedly are Communicative, serious, and responsible in work. And dogs in general are: Loyal and sharp, those born during dog years are like German Shepherds in human form. They offer a unique blend of courage and emotion, making them well-suited for work in medicine or the military.
What sign are you?