Korean New Year

Hey, hey, the New Year is upon us! I know, you feel like you just recovered from the NYE party, but I’m talking about THE OTHER New Year. For me, it’s called Korean New Year because well duh, I’m Korean American. LOL It is also called Asian New Year to clump us all together. It is officially LUNAR New Year as it is the beginning of the lunar or lunisolar calendar. Many East and South East Asian countries celebrate it no matter what their religion.

Just like any holiday in the US Lunar New Year can be celebrated seriously and to the fullest intention as tradition dictates or it can be just an excuse to party and eat too much. It depends on the person who chooses to celebrate it.

When I was a young warthog – it meant going to see Harmony (maternal Korean grandma) and eating a huge meal and getting to stay up super late because all the adults were tipsy. My cousins, friends and I would go hang out by the beach and then ram around the streets with flashlights just being kids until we were exhausted. In Korea it usually lasts about three days at most: the day before Korean New Year, Korean New Year itself, and the day after Korean New Year. Many families will take this time to visit ancestral burial sites or have rites at home to respect the people who have passed. I loved wearing my new hanbok and if I did my traditional bow JUST right, Mama would even give me money as a gift. I was of course made to save it for the “future” but it was cool getting money.

Tteokguk – a mild Korean soup with sliced rice cakes – was the food to make. You know how some cultures in the US make black eyed peas and eat collards? It’s just like that! I was told that the rice cakes looked like coins and if I ate a lot I would be wealthy. I think Grandmother was just trying to fatten me up – I was a very skinny kid. Another dish she made a lot of on New Years was Jeon – I guess you could call it a savory pancake? My favorite was the chives one – it was just chives but omg it was amazing dipped in Harmony’s sauce. I could eat 10 of those in one sitting. There was also plenty of japchae, mandu and ddeok/tteok.

Lunar New Year is a HUGE traveling holiday and many Asians will finally take the time off from work to go visit their relatives. For the traditionalists or the superstitious, this is the time where you usher out the old year and bring in good luck and prosperity in the new year. I always envied the Chinese and their dancing lions and dragons but they can keep their fireworks – they just make me feel jumpy and anxious.

This year is the Year of the Water Tiger! A Water Tiger occurs every 60 years. You will hear that children born this year February 1, 2022- January 31 2023 will be brave, strong and good with interpersonal skills. Ox and Goat the the luckiest signs this year. Yay for me as I am a Goat (or Sheep depending on who you ask – same sign though). If you were born in the years of Rat, Snake, Monkey, Pig or Dog this year will take some extra effort to be successful and have achievements but you can do it! Are you a Rabbit, Dragon, Horse or Rooser? Then this year is going to be smooth AND it’s a money year for you so you will make money! Yayyy for you lucky dogs. But what of the Tigers? I mean its their year right?

Weird enough, the Chinese Zodiac says people in their zodiac year are believed to offend the God of Age so they will have bad luck. That seems hardly fair! So every 12 years, if you believe in Chinese Zodiac beliefs, you must pay close attention when it is your zodiac year so you can pay special attention to your life. It is helpful to wear red if it is an unlucky year for you – it can be a belt, socks shoes, and especially underwear. I personally do not believe in any of it but it’s fun to read about. I remember some of my relatives were VERY serious about it all and was offended if I joked around about it. I was a kid and like all kids stupid in the ways of manners but now I feel bad that I may have hurt their feelings. Oops?

So for fellows Goats like me it is said this year we will get along well with our colleagues, work efficiency will be improved, and the progress of our projects will be accelerated. (ooh maybe that means my book will finally be finished. LOL) Our personal talents can be used readily (Yay – my book again!), and your good team coordination skills will be appreciated by your boss, which will make many people happy. (Wait, I don’t have a boss. . .I will appreciate myself. LOL) If you are a single Goat this is the year your dating life will be awesome and you may find a good match! Good luck!

Published by bridgey1967

Loyal. Funny. Sensitive. Loving.

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