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Happy 2011 Lunar New Years!

Posted January 15th, 2011 by Peter · 31 Comments

Hi SAPL Family! The Year of the Rabbit begins this year on February 3rd, 2011! To help us ring in Lunar New Years, our friends at American Express are giving away some $50 Gift Cards to SAPL members who can share what Lunar New Years truly means to them!

The roaring tiger makes way for the lucky rabbit as more than 3.2 million Asian-Americans prepare to celebrate the Lunar New Year. To mark the occasion, American Express is offering a limited-edition Year of the Rabbit Gift Card that features the traditional paper-cut depictions of a peaceful rabbit. This is another step by American Express in celebrating diversity. The limited-edition Year of the Rabbit Gift Card from American Express follows the success of last year’s Year of the Tiger Lunar New Year, Diwali and ¡Felicidades! Gift Cards.

To enter, all you wonderful SAPL Readers and Writers can share what the Year of the Rabbit means to you through the comments section on this page. You can also share what Lunar New Years means to you through joining our Facebook Page and posting your story/media/video on our Wall. On February 1st, we will announce the winners of the contest so you can spend your lucky money (literally) by February 3rd..

Curious George says Hello!

What Will You Spend Your Lunar New Years Money On?

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Tags: Contests & Giveaways · Culture · Customs · Environment · Food & Beverage · Linguify · Promotions

31 responses so far ↓

  • 1 David M // Jan 16, 2011 at 12:18 am

    The new Lunar Year means to me a new rebirth. A chance to bring in a new set of humans who are not like the others. A new class of personalities that my children will be able to play, learn, and converse with. Having a new Lunar Year brings joy and curiosity to me.

  • 2 Trinh // Jan 16, 2011 at 12:20 am

    I love lunar New Years! Whenever Lunar New Years come I know I will get to see my relatives from far away and eat Banh Chung and Banh Day. Normally you can buy them at any Vietnamese store but on New Years they are extra special. Of course I can’t forget about the Lucky Money. I don’t know if everyone does this but in my family in order to received the money you have to say Happy New Years I wish you good fortune and good health.

  • 3 sewina // Jan 16, 2011 at 12:42 am

    i love how families gather together and everyone is happy for the new year. Even when you walk out to the streets random Asians greets you with Happy New Years. But this don’t just last for one day, it last for about 2 weeks. Usually when you say Happy New Years and wishing them good fortune and health they will give you lucky money, but I like saying it to people even if they don’t give you money. I find it as a fun holiday and it brings everyone together.

  • 4 miyu // Jan 16, 2011 at 1:04 am

    lunar year is special for me, its a time when you were able to get together with your family and relatives after a long time taking care of their own busy life. there were plenty of delicious foods we share and eat together, talk together how our life was doing and our “new year’s resolution” moment. seeing the happy faces of your family and relatives make me feel happy as well!

  • 5 Lucy // Jan 16, 2011 at 2:19 am

    I actually made some resolutions for the Year of the Rabbit…the main one is to stay positive because with every failure, there’s still something to be happy about. The upcoming lunar year also calls for a new internship, a new job (that’s paid, FINALLY), my mom’s first homecoming to China in almost ten years, and perhaps…my first visit to China in almost ten years as well (thanks to studying abroad)!

  • 6 Michelle // Jan 16, 2011 at 7:15 am

    Lunar New Year’s Day signals the start of a healthier life, as some people make New Year’s resolutions. Often these are connected with fitness and health, for example giving up smoking or drinking, taking more exercise or losing weight. Though, I’m not a Chinese yet I’m a Filipino, many of us used also to celebrate Lunar New Year as Chinese too like preparing sticky rice cakes, giving red envelopes to relatives, etc. For me, it’s not bad to celebrate Lunar new year if you’re not a Chinese, what is important is that it is how you appreciate and respect others traditions and cultures and believing it wholeheartedly.

  • 7 Lisa // Jan 16, 2011 at 8:10 am

    Tet is always the best day of the year where I can truly embrace my Vietnamese culture. Sure I can live a traditional Vietnamese lifestyle any day, but living in America, you’re exposed to Americanized customs and must astray from being truly Vietnamese. Tet is also a reminder to me that no matter how Americanized I might get, I am still, and will always be, Vietnamese.

    When my life is bombarded by work, the focus in achieving a degree, and this horrid economy, I tend to disregard my family since almost all of my time is spent outside of the house and hardly ever with family. Tet gives me a chance to tell my mom, grandparents, aunts, and uncles how much I appreciate them in my life. Since one is expected to wish an adult good luck upon receiving a li xi, I take some time prior to Tet to construct a poetic response for my family so that I can put together a meaningful and heartfelt wish so they understand what they mean to me.

  • 8 Winnie // Jan 16, 2011 at 8:38 am

    This lunar new year is extra special for me because I was born in the year of the rabbit. The lunar new year for me is a time of reflection, to look at the past, appreciate the present and look forward to the future. Also, it’s a time of reunion and gatherings with friends and family. I love the special foods and meals prepared during this time. Lunar new year fosters a sense of togetherness and good-will amongst people. I love the positivity that is spreads from everyone wishing each other a happy new year!

  • 9 Hien // Jan 16, 2011 at 10:22 am

    i remember when i was younger and tet used to be something that was really special!! we would celebrate it by going over to people houses.. they would cook a lot of food and have family over!!
    also, they would give out money to the little kids..

  • 10 Emily // Jan 16, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Lunar New Years means a whole new year on the Lunar calendar. Lunar New Years is when you get a chance to gather with your friends and family as you hope to for the rest of the year, one year after another. Lunar New Years reflects on how you are for the rest of the year. People forget about the troubles from the past year and hope for a better year. This celebration includes dragon or lion dances, fireworks, family gathering and meals, visiting friends, giving red envelopes, and hanging up duilian.

  • 11 Elena // Jan 16, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    This year, February 3rd marks the day when interest in Asian affairs reaches its peak. Random questions assault our nation’s Asian populace such as: “Why is your New Years on a different day every year? What zodiac animal am I? How do you say in Chinese? If I’m not Asian do I get lucky money too? and random “Nee hao ma?”s thrown out there in the mix. Lunar New Year’s Day is the day that we are reminded of the good things about our Asian heritage: our heavy ties with ancestors and family, good food, good friends, prosperous well wishes–sometimes from complete strangers!! In the case of Canadian or American born Asians, we get the best of both worlds: the opportunity to ring in the New Year…TWICE…every year! Cheers!

  • 12 Eva // Jan 16, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    The name “Chinese New Year” is actually very misleading, it is not only a new year for the Chinese, but many other races and ethnicities regards this as their new year. But it seems as through the Chinese receive the most recognition for this holiday. This is probably due to the fact that the Chinese celebrates it more lavishly than any other races/ethnicities. As a Chinese teenager living in the United States, Lunar New Year is a time when i am given most recognition for being “Chinese”. My teachers and classmates would come up to me and wish me a “Happy Chinese New Year”. People begin to become more curious about my culture. This is also a time when the “Chinese” in me really comes out. I begin to wear much more red than normal, and I actually try to speak Chinese to my parents because I want to get into the “holiday spirit”. To me, it’s a time when I get to talk to my relative in China. It’s a time of great entertainment all celebrating our culture, whether its on CCTV with their annual “Chinese New Year Special” filled with celebrities, songs, and dances or in Chinese school with our annual performances celebrating the new year with my fellow classmates. It’s also a time of delicious food. My parents spend a whole week prepping foods that brings out the best of their culinary skills. This may sound superficial, but it is undeniably a time of great wealth (well, for the children, for the parents perhaps not), when the children wake up the next day and receive “red pockets”. And most importantly, it’s a time of family. Even if most of my family is in China, on New Year’s eve (because it would be New Year’s day in China) I typically call almost every single member of my extended family living in China, wishing them a happy new year. This is when i feel closest to my family and feel like we are actually connected rather than 2 different parts, one in the US, and one in China. All in all, this is an extremely important time of the year for me, and I simply cannot wait for it to come. Happy Year of the Rabbits every year and I hope you have a prosperous year :)

  • 13 Ryan // Jan 16, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Lunay New Year is a great time to reflect and refresh on a changing chapter of life. It is important to renew our energy and regain perspective. Helping in this process is the annual holiday’s tradition of family reunion. Seeing loved ones helps me put my feet back on the ground and remember what life is really all about!

  • 14 larissa // Jan 17, 2011 at 11:31 am

    This New Year means a new start and being reminded of my culture and background and celebrating it. Its almost like Christmas being with family. Its fun celebrating it by going through traditions and celebrating my heritage.

  • 15 Linh-Han // Jan 17, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    The lunar new year or known as Tet in Vietnamese signifies the celebration of a everyone growing one year older in age, health, spirit and wisdom. This year is extra significant, since I was born in the year of the rabbit. To me, Tet represents the hallmark of families showing appreciation for what we have and sharing the love with one another. We give blessings to not only our family members and people we love, but also our neighbors and even our enemies. The new year is the time to let go of the past and look forward to positive things. Our mood and decisions are reflections of what the fortunes or misfortunes the new year might bring. This year, let’s be think positive and be optimistic!

  • 16 Monica // Jan 19, 2011 at 8:41 am

    My parents raised me in America to respect and appreciate a balance of both American and Chinese values. Lunar New Year is an annual reminder of appreciating my unique identity as an American born Chinese (ABC). Though I am a unique hybrid of both cultures, I will unfortunately never fully feel comfortable in either worlds. No matter how much I try to embrace my Asian side by having a fobbish haircut, speaking Mandarin, or learning lion dancing, whatever comes out of my mouth has an evident American bent. Though I walk, talk, and dress like an American, I hold and deeply respect values that originate from my oriental roots. My path, along with others like me, will not be easy, but what we can do is be brave, persistent, and offer the world our balanced perspective. Lunar New Year provides one of those rare opportunities to share our Asian culture with America, whether it passing around red envelopes, lighting off fire crackers, and uniting with family to feast on New Year’s. Being an ABC, I am not only able to celebrate the richness that comes with New Year festivities with family and relatives but also share this with my American friends and colleagues and spread awareness of this significant cultural event.

  • 17 Stewart // Jan 19, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    I’ve always taken pride in being born in the Year of the Rabbit. My parents actually got me a necklace of with a rabbit pendant that I still wear today. My wife is a rabbit as well and this year, I was very excited to see that my second child will be born in the year of the rabbit too! We’ll have three rabbits and one pig in our household by this spring. In terms of what the New Year means to me – I’ve always enjoyed the fact that my family gets together for a delicious meal – usually with food that is only served at this time of year. Of course lucky money was always something exciting to receive as a kid and now, we pay it forward by giving red envelopes to nieces and nephews. I’m a CBC so I look forward to passing on the few traditions that I do know on to my kids.

  • 18 Dan // Jan 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    As a Vietnamese, Tet means a lot to me. When I was a kid I never understood its true meaning. It is more than the fantastic food or money. Rather during the three days of this holiday, it allows me to reflect on the good as well as the bad things happened in 2010. Being a son of refugees, it brings families together literally or figuratively since we live so far apart. In New Years there is an unwritten code that family members will return home for the holidays no matter what circumstance. It is the time where you put off the the hustle and bustle of work or school for just a moment and enjoy the accompaniment around the circle of family and friends. Tet/New Years is a celebration that no other holiday can match. I hope my children will learn the same message in the future.

  • 19 Julie // Jan 23, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Chinese New Year provides me the time to reconnect with my culture every year. As the only American-Born-Taiwanese out of all of my relatives, I sometimes feel disconnected from my culture. With the rest of my family in Taiwan, I speak and breathe an entirely different culture. I do not share a very close relationship with all my cousins that live in Taiwan. Although this may sound disheartening, this makes Chinese New Year a very special time for me. It is the time that I reconnect with my family in Taiwan, by making countless phone calls to all of my relatives (because my father tells me to do so!). Hearing the sound of their voices brings back memories of visiting Taiwan years ago.

    In my local community, my school hosts an annual Lunar New Year event that I partake in every year. I love the feeling of sharing the beauty of the Asian culture with others, as well as sharing my enthusiasm with my friends. The gathering of all ethnicities, not only Asian, brings a warmth and pride for my Asian heritage. The months of hard work to prepare for this community event is always greatly rewarded!

    The Year of the Rabbit will bring many life changing events for me—a new college and a new environment. I will finally be visiting my relatives in Taiwan after having not seen them for four years! I am very excited and cannot wait for the summer! I hope that the luckiness of the rabbit will bring much fortune to me and everyone else! :)

  • 20 TigerMom'sNightmare // Jan 24, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Growing up in a Chinese-American household, Lunar New Year was the one time a year where we expressed appreciation for our parents (with the exception of Father’s and Mother’s Day). Our parents would then reward us with lucky money, which now that I’m writing it, sounds like a bribe of sorts.

    Of course as your parents get older, you realize how woefully inadequate expressing your gratitude just a couple days a year is.

  • 21 Simon // Jan 26, 2011 at 1:07 am

    This Lunar New Year is special to me because so much change is happening in our family. We are all growing and changing and challenging ourselves and this coming year, I am heading into a new direction. My family is really important to me but this time, I will need to learn to face some of my challenges alone as I live away from them. For Chinese people, family is intricate in our lives from the day we are born to our last days. I am finding how I can continue to connect to them as well as exciting with what this new year has in store.

  • 22 Mary // Jan 26, 2011 at 1:19 am

    Lunar New Year means another reason to celebrate the cultural richness of Asia! And it’s a chance for those not familiar with the holiday to understand how things work in other parts of the world. Our diversity makes us beautiful. :)

  • 23 Stephanie // Jan 26, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Lunar New Year is the special day of the year when all of my family members remind me how single I am by hoping that this is the year I’ll get married. It’s also the day when I don’t feel like the most misplaced person in Chinatown.

  • 24 Jamie // Jan 27, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Growing up Chinese-American, Lunar New Years is a time to reevaluate myself on what it means to be Chinese, American, a daughter, a sister, and most importantly, an individual. The rich cultural history of my immigrant parents are on full display not only in my home but in my community. Visibly vibrant reds and golds are constant reminders of the important values my parent instilled in me since childhood. While I do not agree whole-heartedly with all of their beliefs, I treasure the importance of respect, dedication, perseverance, and the ability to overcome any challenge with grace and humility. Festive Lunar New Year decorations within an American environment is both comforting and symbolic. Not only does it represent the coexistence and friendship of two different countries and cultures, it serves as a personal representation of the juxtaposition of my Chinese values and my American values. I do not have choose one or the other. I can have both. To be overwhelmingly cliche, I can have the best of both worlds.

    Of course, one cannot stress enough the power of Lunar New Years to bring people, or more specifically, family, together. Everyone is busy, everyone is growing up, everyone is changing, but no matter how far we fly, we find our way home again year after year. My siblings, my aunts and uncles, my cousins. We all have our goals, dreams, and responsibilities, but we make time to come home again. We come home to wish each other good luck and fortune so we can work even harder towards our dreams. I realize there will always be an amazing group of people that will never let me down. By some unexpected chance I fall, this group will be there to catch me. This group is my family. Just like they will always be there for me, I will always be there for them.

    Although the Year of the Rabbit is supposed to be a “calmer” year following the ferocious Tiger, I believe this year will be everything but calm. This year is a long marathon for me as I draw closer to my last year of undergrad, and the rabbit is my partner and guide throughout the race. I am going to steadily pace myself to get through every obstacle. His appreciation for beauty will shine through me as I take necessary breaks from my hectic life to smell the roses. His methodical and calculative nature will be useful as I approach every challenge one step at a time.

  • 25 Jackie L. // Jan 28, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Lunar New Year means that I get to see extended family that I would only get to see every *other* year. My family is so spread out (Pennsylvania, New York, California, etc.)!

    My wife (who is not Asian) gets to take in what a Chinese family reunion is like. Delicious food and smiles all around…not like the reunions of her family that I’ve been to. No drama, no friction. Good stuff!

  • 26 fiona // Jan 31, 2011 at 2:30 am

    For me, the thought of Chinese New Year doesn’t bring to mind too many sentimental mish mash of recollections, however i do remember my aunty scolding me for my mumbled greeting of “er yi hao” instead of “ah yi hao”. One can certainly imagine her joy at being called a crocodile! Thus Chinese New Year for me, means a timely reminder of my failings as a young lady duly connected to her asian roots.

  • 27 kim // Jan 31, 2011 at 8:28 am

    I read the fortune book that this is going to be a good year for everyone. So I wish prosperity and good health for everyone on earth.

  • 28 Peter // Jan 31, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Hi Everyone! As promised, I will be choosing the best posts as well as some at random for the American Express Card Giveaway! The results will be revealed tomorrow afternoon, so stay tuned. I will be emailing winners through the emails they used when writing for the contest.

    Stay tuned!

  • 29 Hanley // Jan 31, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    If it’s not too late:

    On the record – the Lunar New Year means spending time with loved ones and celebrating a new year of hope, optimism, and joy

    Off the record – it’s a time to collect some $$$ so I can pay my bills, DAMMIT!

  • 30 Demetra Mensah- Bonsu // Feb 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    For the rabbit in 2011, any recent setbacks or obstacles can be overcome, so I look forward for my chance to finally shine. I went through so many trials in 2010 that I’m so ready to start anew. I never make any New Years Resolutions, because I always forget about them but I am making a promise to myself that this is my year to make something of myself and not to allow other peoples negativity to bring me down.

  • 31 200179354 // Feb 1, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    The Lunar Year is a chance for new beginnings. I am half Chinese and half African and most of my life I have had identity issues. The Asian kids did not want to hang out with me because I looked more black than Chinese( well except for my eyes) and the black kids thought I was stuck up because I am mixed. The year of the rabbit is my chance to finally be reborn. I’m tired of putting so much weight on the opinion of others. I’m going stop caring so much about fitting in and I’ll embrace both of my cultures. Instead of resenting my Chinese and African heritage, I will try to emphasize both this year.. I feel like this is my year to finally make progress in all that I set my mind to.This will be the third time celebrating Chinese New Years with my mom’s side of the family and I’m really excited for all of the unique traditions and and amazing food!