Family, Friends, and Community: The Importance of the Chinese Lunar New Year and What it Means for You
Last week, the world came together and celebrated the Chinese Lunar New Year, a weeklong celebration that is the most important holiday of the year.
Drawing from China’s lengthy and rich tradition as an agricultural society spanning more than 5,000 years, the Lunar New Year has always been a time of festivity, celebration, community, and most importantly, rest. It is a tradition that, through the wonder of reenactment, unifies the present with the past; and similarly, as we dream collectively of better days yet to come, it unites us with the future.
The Lunar New Year is a time to strengthen relationships, to settle debts, to reflect on one’s shortcomings and failures, acknowledging them and making a commitment to change for the better. It is also a time to rebuild old friendships, repairing such strained relationships through acts of charity and heartfelt discussions, and it is a time to create new ones, getting to know those around you.
Every step is taken to ensure and promote nothing but a positive, exceptional experience with others. Discussions of grave and unhappy matters are shunned and avoided as unlucky, often portending a bad year ahead. Instead, games are played by families, gifts are exchanged with loved ones, and delicious foods and teas are shared with friends.
The Lunar New Year is, ultimately, a celebration of the best that life has to offer, a refocusing on what is truly most important.
This year’s holiday marked the beginning of the Year of the Pig, one of the twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac—along with the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, and dog. According to legend, these are the first twelve animals who finished the race that the Jade Emperor had requested for his birthday.
The Year of the Pig is supposed to be a year full of joy, prosperity, luck, and good fortune, and although the Lunar New Year festivities are over, the Year of the Pig has just begun, inviting us to look for the good in our lives and experiences, to appreciate the talents and abilities of others, and to be thankful for everything that comes our way.
Given the season in which the Lunar New Year is celebrated, we think it is best and most auspicious to start your year with a dark or roasted tea. If you’re looking for something nice, consider indulging your company with the creamy Wuyi Golden Water Turtle rock oolong (Shui Jin Gui).
If, however, you’re unsure of what your company enjoys, then you may want to serve them a familiar, pleasant cup of Keemun Imperial black tea, a tea that is well-appreciated for its signature floral fragrance.
The Water Turtle is perfect for seasoned tea drinkers familiar with the world of oolongs while the Keemun speaks to every type of tea drinker, from the novice to the connoisseur. In any case, just be sure to listen to your guest and be grateful for what they have to say.
There is, after all, no better way to start a year than with good company.