Valentine’s Day has just passed, but surprisingly there’s another holiday to celebrate this week—the Chinese New Year! Also referred to as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, the holiday is normally celebrated sometime between January and February. In 2017, the festival occurred on January 28, whereas this year, it falls in mid-February.
This holiday is one of renewal and rebirth. It means introducing the new zodiac for the year, adorning houses and community spaces with red, gold and other bright colors, and of course, preparing a ton of food. According to Chinese New Year 2018, Feb. 8-15 are days spent solely on preparing for this celebration. Feb. 16-26 are chock-full of new year festivities and it all ends with a Lantern Festival that is held on March 2.
Even if you’ve never celebrated the Chinese New Year before, there’s no better time than the present! Here’s a few ways to get you prepared for the holiday:
The Chinese New Year is all about embracing a fresh start. The holiday has been celebrated since 14th century B.C., and since then the Chinese holiday is the biggest holiday celebrated throughout the year. According to History.com, 1/6 of the world’s population celebrate Chinese New Year! Although it has been celebrated in China for many centuries, it wasn’t until the 1840s and 1850s, during the California Gold Rush, that the holiday’s traditions made their way to the west. Chinese immigrant workers traveled to the United States, bringing their rich culture along with them.
Reset Your Life
Chinese New Year brings a whole new meaning to the term “Spring cleaning.” Those who celebrate often deep-clean their entire house, which is said to get rid of ghosts or bad luck that are leftover from the previous year. As cannabis consumers, we all know that trying out a strong sativa strain is the perfect way to get in the mood for this.
Others may purchase new clothes for themselves, pay off debts, or even simply get a haircut as well. Not unlike a new year’s resolution celebrated in western culture, doing these things will help you get a fresh start for a brand new year. It’s especially helpful if you made New Year resolutions for yourself on Jan. 1, but failed to accomplish anything. Here’s chance number two!
Eat A Ton of Food
Not just any food, but cultural fare such as steamed dumplings, which bring good luck to the household. Make a large bowl of long noodles and ensure a long life and prosperous future for yourself—as long as you don’t cut or bite the noodles while eating! Many of these recipes can easily be adapted as cannabis-infused dishes, such as the Long Life Steamed Fish or healthy veggie stir fry known as Buddhas Delight-Jai. End the celebration with a bite of Baked Chinese New Year Cake, infused with cannabis, to receive good luck!
Wear the Right Garb
The first way to celebrate the Chinese New Year is to buy yourself a new outfit to feel fresh and renewed. However if you want to go all-out, try investing in a traditional outfit such as a Tang Suit, Qipao, Cheongsam or Hanfu (but wear these only in the appropriate setting). Red and gold are the annual color schemes, but avoid wearing black or white, which are seen as negative, unlucky colors.
Attend a Local Event
Many cities and countries across the world embrace the Chinese New Year, so there’s probably one or more celebrations of this holiday happening near you. Get out there and explore cultural dances, try new foods, and send a paper lantern off into the night.
Most Importantly—Pet Your Pupper
This year is the “Year of the Dog,” so be sure to give much love to your canine companions today. Emulate their characteristics, such as being loyal and honest. Keep in mind that the year of the dog is often associated with being the most unlucky year, which is often filled with “trouble and danger lurking around every corner,” according to Chinese New Year 2018. Be sure to utilize cannabis strains this year that combat anxiety and promote relaxation—the same goes for your dog in CBD form, if they need it to improve their health and well-being. If you’d like to learn more about what this year’s zodiac animals means, check this out.