Welcoming the Year of the Dragon

by Lorita Yip, Associate Director of Child Care Benefits Support

Lunar New Year is a special holiday to me. Growing up, my core memories of this holiday consist of large family gatherings, preparation leading up to the holiday and going to the temple. The large family gatherings were a way for me to see my extended family as we got together to catch up over food and activities. There’s so much that goes into preparing for the holiday itself from cleaning, decorating the walls with lucky sayings, red envelopes and more. I remember being a part of the preparation, but still feeling like there’s so much left to learn. When my marital status changed, there were more rules to learn, and I was responsible for doing the preparation for my own family. Nonetheless, this holiday is an opportunity for me to reconnect with my culture and now I can share that with my own family.

Chinese Lion Dancers at our 2023 City Kids Family Fair

As a second generation Chinese American, I never truly feel confident that I am doing everything right when it comes to the holiday, but at least I can count on my parents and elders to help guide me. That’s the beauty of the holiday, there’s so much history and many traditions that are shared that I find myself wondering more about how it was like for my family before they came to the United States. It’s a learning opportunity at every moment and an chance to have some family bonding time, especially with my grandparents.

It’s the one time of year where I stop making excuses to not do something with my family and embrace the time we have together. Looking forward to the future, I hope my daughter can learn to appreciate the many dos and don’ts around the holiday and make core memories with her extended family just like I did with my own cousins. 

Wishing everyone a healthy and prosperous year of the dragon! 

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