2016 - Year of the Monkey

Happy Lunar/Vietnamese New Year ~!

I forget what type of tree this is from!
Bánh chưng with pomelos and air plant. The middle pomelo was grown by my boyfriend's mom. Oh and she made that bánh chưng. Yes, she's a badass.
I love lion dancing performances. These are some postcards I painted up to send out :)
Contrary to what mainstream media spews, it's not just Chinese people who celebrate the lunar new year: numerous other ethnic Asians follow the lunisolar calendar, including the Vietnamese.

Tết celebrations mean eating yummy Vietnamese home cooked dishes from family. YESSS! I'm so excited. It's better than receiving li xi (red envelopes with money), although as a kid, the money was definitely the best part. I think I spent considerable amounts of that cash as a youngster in my local Sanrio store. According to tradition, once I get married, I have to then give out red envelopes so I will enjoy my unmarried status while it lasts :P

As I've aged and moved beyond the money, I've come to appreciate the traditions in Vietnamese New Year. Ideally, before taking the red envelopes, you must first wish the elder good fortune and health. And, an elder who gives out lots of envelopes is rewarded in turn by receiving lots of good fortune. Isn't that a lovely exchange? 

Also, did you know that the Vietnamese zodiac is also different from the Chinese zodiac? We have a few different animals that make more sense to the common fauna in Vietnam. I, for example, was born in the year of the Cat which is equivalent to the Chinese Rabbit Zodiac. The other different animals are: goat in place of sheep/ram, and water buffalo in place of ox.

For this Year of the Monkey, I wish everyone lots of love in their lives, golden health, and strength to overcome everything that may happen. Do you and your family celebrate Lunar New Year? I'd love to hear some of your traditions!

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