While we sweep the glitter and confetti off of the streets of New York and make (and break) our New Year’s resolutions, others around the world are preparing for the Lunar New Year, also known as the “Spring Festival”. According to the Chinese 12-year animal zodiac cycle, 2019 is the year of the Pig. A pig represents luck and overall good fortune. To celebrate the 2019 Lunar New Year we have made a limited edition Lunar New Year tea. The Lunar New Year is celebrated by many countries in Asia and each has their own unique customs. Read on to learn more about some of the origin stories and customs of this holiday and our delicious commemorative tea blend.
In modern China, the Lunar New Year is the most important traditional festival. It is so important, in fact, that it is celebrated for 7 days starting on the first day of the Chinese New Year and ending with the Lantern Festival. Each year is assigned an animal based on the Chinese Zodiac. There are 12 zodiac animals in total - the ox, horse, goat, rooster, pig, dog, rat, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, and monkey. The first six are the main domestic animals raised by Chinese people. The other six animals are all loved by the Chinese people. In one origin story, the animals were chosen based on the Yin and Yang Theory. Animals are arranged in an alternating order by the number of claws, toes or hooves they have - even or odd. In another origin story, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party.
Families have a variety of Lunar New Year traditions. In Korea, rice cake soup teokguk is always on the table for good luck. Once it is eaten it is said you become one year older. Small, intricately decorated red packets filled with lucky money are handed out on New Year’s Day by the elders to grandchildren and children with good wishes. But above all, the Lunar New Year is a big family reunion. Whether you are bowing to your elders or making sure they fill their plate first at dinner, it is important to pay respects to elders and ancestors.
Our little red packets may not be filled with money, but we think that the tea inside is pretty great too. Order your Year of the Pig tea before the Lunar New Year on February 5 to make sure it arrives before your family does.
Ready for 2019? Check out some of our favorite posts below to prepare for the new year:
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