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OCCA Spring Lantern Festival 2024
February 10 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Illuminate your night at the OCCA Spring Lantern Festival!
Ticket Purchasing Methods:
1. Eventbrite, online ticket purchase.
– Limited availability of tickets, please purchase early to secure your seat.
Lunar New Year Traditions Across Asia
Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is a vibrant and significant celebration observed by various Asian countries including China, Korea, Vietnam, Mongolia, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and North Korea. The festival marks the beginning of the lunar calendar and is a time for families to come together, pay respects to ancestors, and usher in good fortune for the coming year.
In China, Lunar New Year, or Chunjie, is the most significant and widely celebrated festival. Preparations begin weeks in advance, with families cleaning and decorating their homes to welcome good luck and fortune. Red lanterns, symbolic of joy and happiness, adorn streets and buildings. On New Year’s Eve, families gather for a lavish reunion dinner, featuring traditional dishes like dumplings and fish, symbolizing prosperity and abundance.
The highlight of the celebration is the iconic dragon and lion dances, accompanied by firecrackers, which are believed to ward off evil spirits. The Chinese also exchange red envelopes, known as “hongbao,” containing money to bring good luck and prosperity. The festivities continue for 15 days, culminating in the Lantern Festival, where communities come together to admire colorful lantern displays.
In Korea, the Lunar New Year, or Seollal, is a time for family reunions and paying respects to ancestors. One of the most important traditions is the ancestral ritual called “charye,” where families gather to offer food and perform rituals at ancestral graves. The traditional game of “yutnori” is played, bringing families together for friendly competition.
A special dish called “tteokguk,” a soup with thinly sliced rice cakes, is commonly enjoyed during Seollal. Eating tteokguk is believed to bring good luck and longevity. Families also participate in “sebae,” a deep bow of respect to elders, during which they receive blessings and well-wishes for the new year.
In the Philippines, Lunar New Year, locally known as Chinese New Year, is a festive celebration embraced by the Filipino-Chinese community, and nowadays even Non-Chinese Filipinos have become accustomed to taking part in the Lunar New Year celebrations and traditions as well. The streets are adorned with red decorations, symbolizing good luck and prosperity. The highlight of the celebration is the Dragon and Lion Dance, which parades through the streets, accompanied by firecrackers.
Filipino-Chinese families gather for a festive feast, featuring traditional dishes like tikoy (sweet glutinous rice cake), pancit (noodles), and lumpia (spring rolls). Red envelopes containing money, similar to the Chinese hongbao, are exchanged for good fortune. The celebration extends to vibrant parades and cultural performances, showcasing the diverse and harmonious blend of Filipino and Chinese traditions.
Lunar New Year is a joyous occasion celebrated by millions across Asia, with each country adding its unique cultural flavors to the festivities. Whether it’s the elaborate dragon dances in China, the family-centric traditions in Korea, or the vibrant street celebrations in the Philippines, Lunar New Year reflects the richness and diversity of Asian cultures, fostering a sense of unity and hope for the future.