Chinese New Years 2013! Year of the Snake

Wishing all who celebrate the lunar calendar a very Happy New Year! May it be prosperous and full of good fortune! Good food, family, friends, and of course red envelops to kick off the good fortunes, have a wonderful new year!

I didn't realize this until recently but not many people outside the Asian community know about the lunar calendar. Because the lunar calendar is essentially a different calendar system than the Gregorian calendar, the new year falls on a different date each year (usually between mid Jan to mid Feb). There are 12 months but the amount of days per month are different and usually the moon (hence lunar) has a lot of influence on how this calendar works. Even I'm not quite sure how this calendar came about, I only know how to read and figure out what day I'm on.

Random Interesting Fact: Every person who celebrates the lunar new year typically believe in their lunar birthdays. To determine your lunar birthday, you'd have to see what day it was on the lunar calendar on the day you were born on the Gregorian calendar. Though like following the Gregorian, your birthday is on the same day every year, but since the lunar calendar is slightly different than the Gregorian calendar, it would appear your lunar birthday lands on a different day every year on the Gregorian calendar. Also the zodiac sign is based on the lunar calendar which is why some who may be born in 1986 is still considered the year of the Ox and not Tiger if they were born before Feb 8th....technically up until Feb 7th, it was still 1985 on the lunar calendar.
The lunar new year is one of the biggest holidays in Asia. Equivalently, its like our Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years combined. People in Asia (at least people in China, which include my relatives) typically get almost a whole month off from school or work for this special holiday. Streets are filled with festivities, music, dance, and loads of food. RED, so much red and gold which represents good fortune are everywhere on everything. That is why it is tradition to hand out red envelops filled with money or candies. Lots and lots of symbolic traditions and a huge deal.

Its still a huge deal to the Asian communities in the US but nothing compared to what its like in China or other Asian countries. 

Anyways thought I'd share some my own cultural background for this day. Hope this was something new and interesting to whoever reads this,  you learn something new everyday right?