Happy New Year!

Here we go again, it's another "happy new year" post. It feels a little late to be writing about a new year at the end of January, but if you take a look at the lunar calendar, the year has just started. This new year is known as many things, either as Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year, or the Spring Festival.

For as long as I can remember, in my entire life, I've been celebrating the Lunar New Year. It's two weeks of non-stop eating, seeing family, wearing red, and receiving red envelopes. There's also a bunch of traditions and taboos around the holiday, like eating certain foods, and not washing your hair or doing laundry. A lot of the food that gets eaten is chosen is based off their names or what they symbolize. For example, long noodles are eaten for being able to live a long life; dumplings for wealth, rice cakes (年糕) because their name sounds just like saying you'll have a prosperous year (年高), and fish (魚) because there's an idiom that wishes you to have surpluses in your year (年年有餘), and fish has the same pronunciation as the word surplus (魚 and 餘). In terms of the not washing your hair or doing laundry, there's the superstition that if you wash those things on the first day of the new year, you'll be washing away all your luck for the following year. But all it did was make me want to do my laundry more than ever. (I resisted the rebellious urge because honestly, I need all the luck I can get.) Obviously, every family treats it differently, and there's more to the holiday, but I won't get into that today. All I can really say is that Mandarin/Chinese characters really dictate what you eat and do, and what you don't.

Photo by Macau Photo Agency, via Unsplash 

Celebrating new year's on January 1st with the countdown and fireworks has always felt more like a social thing, and my family has never really placed any importance on that. To us, it's always just been a normal day, and we don't really make resolutions for the new year. We also barely watch the fireworks. It sounds like I'm just hating on the celebrations on December 31st, but I just want to tell the world that it's okay to not make a big deal out of the new year. And really, even with the Lunar New Year, I don't really believe in the idea of setting resolutions and goals because it's a new year. It's always just been a time to be surrounded by family and be thankful that I've lived another year. And I think that if you really set your heart out to do something or make a change in your life, you can do that whenever you want. If you wait for the new year to do, aren't you just procrastinating? From "I'm going to exercise more" to "I'm going to focus more on my studies," I've seen my fair share of failed resolutions, and it all just boils down to me not being motivated enough to actually see through my impulsively decided goals. Please don't get offended if they work for you though, I'm just speaking from personal experience. 

Unsplash Photo by bady qb via Unsplash  

This article was written because I have a lot of emotions regarding how I'm missing Lunar New Year festivities this year. Thanks to the lunar calendar and the way my finals have been set up this year, I have to stay in Tokyo until January 31st, which will be the 7th day of the new year.

I just want to go home and eat.