Chinese New Year is by far the most elaborate and important Chinese holiday. Known for its days of epic celebrations and festivities, Chinese New Year is a time to spend days celebrating with family and friends and ringing in a happier, healthier, and luckier you.
Celebrating the beginning of the new year on the Chinese calendar has never been easier for vegans thanks to this vegan’s guide to celebrating new years. Instead of avoiding the festivities, lose yourself in the food, parties, traditions, and luck of this holiday.
Chinese New Year
Beginning in late January to mid-February this special event symbolizes fresh starts. Each year on the Chinese calendar is associated with an animal and is based on lunar-solar cycles.
By marking the start of the lunar new year, Chinese New Year begins at the start of a new moon which truly epitomizes the notion of a fresh start. Dating back to the 14th century BC, this calendar is the oldest chronological record. Showing just how important this occasion is.
Celebrating Chinese New Year
When it comes to celebrating this annual occurrence, it really is an all-in affair. Think indulgent food, centuries-old traditions, and parties for the ages. As a vegan, you may be wondering how you can participate in the festivities. Never fear, as this holiday is quite vegan-friendly.
Food is one of the most important aspects when it comes to celebrating during this festival. This is because, in Chinese culture, each dish served during the New Year has its own quality and meaning.
Vegans can fill their tables with tofu and vegetable lo mein to celebrate the notion of ‘the longer the noodle, the longer you’ll live.’ To pass this sentiment on to your parents, serve long leafy greens or string beans.
As a symbol of prosperity and shaped like ancient Chinese currency, dumplings should be served by the dozens. For those looking for plant-based options, fill the dumplings with mushrooms instead of meats like pork.
The Chinese culture uses the period of the New Year to dedicate their time to cleaning. This is because tradition states that cleaning your home gets rid of any bad luck that may be lingering from the previous year.
Vegans can participate in this cleaning ritual by using chemical-free cleaners in order to have this fresh start. Another way to ward off any lingering evil spirits or bad luck is to set off firecrackers on New Year’s Eve.
Another custom is to meet with family members, friends, neighbors, and colleagues to resolve any perceived differences or problems. This way you will be setting the tone for the entire new year.
The importance of ‘luck’
Chinese New Year is synonymous with the idea of luck. In fact, most celebrations are designed to ensure good fortune. The easiest ways to entice good fortune to your front door are little things like hanging scrolls with lucky messages or incorporating images of a dragon around your home.
Other ways to ensure good fortune are things like eating leafy vegetables, giving people hong-bao or red envelopes filled with money. These envelopes will have gold characters printed on them, the red and gold combine to denote good fortune, abundance, and happiness.
Even if you don’t live in China, you can partake in Chinese New Year festivities. This is because various countries across the world hold parties, parades, and other different festivities in order to mark the occasion.
The parties or parades are focused on welcoming the gods of prosperity and wealth. Depending on the time of day, the parades may be celebrating a variety of different things. Such is the depth of this holiday!
Whether you’re joining in on the festivities at home with millions of other spectators or in person, you can trust that this Chinese New Year will be special.
On, going vegan this Chinese New Year
Oftentimes major celebrations can feel a little out of reach for vegans. This is because partaking in these traditions may seem like too much effort when it comes to thinking up plant-based food alternatives to the dishes that the holiday is synonymous with.
However, Chinese New Year really couldn’t be more vegan friendly. With the Chinese culture regarding things like noodles and leafy vegetables as symbols of prosperity and good fortune, you don’t have to worry about thinking of meal substitutes that are just as meaningful.
With this in mind, celebrate the Chinese New Year like never before. Delight in bountiful vegan-friendly foods, take part in centuries-old traditions, invite good luck to your front door and enjoy celebrations that are watched the world over.