I Got the Eye of the Lunar New Year 2022 Tiger

Happy New Year! I know, you are probably wondering why I’m saying this seemingly a month late. But, I’m not late. In fact, I’m exactly on time to celebrate the Lunar New Year. 

Lunar New Year starts today, February 1 (or January 31, if you include Lunar New Year’s Eve), and will end on the 15th. This year we are celebrating the Year of the Tiger (Water Tiger, to be specific)!

Similar to a zodiac sign, tradition says everyone has a personality dictated by the animal of the year they were born (each animal repeats every 12 years). As I’m a Dog, this means I am said to be reliable, loyal, faithful, and honest, and other Dogs (like my mom), have the same traits. People born in this year (Year of the Tiger) are said to be courageous, energetic, lovers of competition, and risk-takers. 

Everyone celebrates Lunar New Year differently, kind of like how no family celebrates Easter or Thanksgiving the same way. Here are a few of the most popular ways people celebrate:

Me, in 2011, ready for the Lunar New Year

1. Cleaning houses – This is done to clean away the bad luck and to prepare for receiving good luck in the upcoming year.

2. Decorating houses with red – Red symbolizes prosperity and keeps away negativity and evil spirits.

3. Offering sacrifices to ancestors – Sacrifices are typically in the form of food and fake paper money.

4. Eating with family – On Lunar New Year’s Eve, there is typically a reunion family dinner, called 年夜飯 or 團年飯. This is how you kick off the celebrations!

5. Exchanging red envelopes and gifts – Bright red envelopes, known as “紅包” (hóngbāo), are filled with money, and people give them to their friends and family. Although money is pretty awesome, it’s important to remember that it’s so much more: it’s a symbol of happy wishes and good luck for the upcoming year! *People may also put their hóngbāo under their pillow while they sleep to enhance their prosperity.

6. Setting off fireworks – Fireworks are used to welcome the new year and scare away evil. (Sometimes firecrackers are used instead, although it’s not very common anymore)

7. Watching lion and dragon dances – These animals represent prosperity and good luck.

8. Kids wearing new clothes – Usually, on the first day of the Lunar New Year, children wear new clothes to celebrate. But, this is not as special anymore because people tend to wear new clothes quite often… wearing new clothes used to be a special luxury that wasn’t an everyday thing (as the economy wasn’t as good as it is today).

To celebrate in my household, we usually eat dinner the first night (the family reunion dinner), and my parents give me a hóngbāo (the red envelope). As my extended family lives across the globe, we cannot usually celebrate the Lunar New Year in person together. But, we always make sure to call everyone and wish them “新年快乐” (Xīn Nián Kuài Lè)/Happy New Year!


I hope you now know more about this exciting holiday, and that if you see Lunar New Year celebrations around you, you understand the meaning behind it. It’s important to note that this was just a brief introduction to the Lunar New Year, and there is an abundance more to learn. Make sure to research more if you’re interested, and to everyone who celebrates, I hope you have a very happy Lunar New Year, and may the Tiger be with you. 新年快乐!