Coming Sunday, January 22, 2023, marks the first new moon on the lunar calendar and the start of the Year of the Rabbit. The Year of the Rabbit, 2023, or Cat in some Asian countries is said to be a kind, energetic, and resilient animal representing patience and respecting others.
Before the new year, some of us clean our homes to remove any bad luck that might be lingering inside. Traditional celebrations involve family gatherings, the best homemade food, religious ceremonies honoring ancestors, and exchanging red envelopes that contain money (our favorite when we were kids).
At our local temple, Chua Pho Mon, kids dance and do the Lion dance. They sometimes even perform or act out plays. Lion dancers are typically kids from grade school. They practice graciously to get it right, especially some of the tricky poses. They dance to the beat of the drums.
Since it’s usually cold in the Midwest, they typically perform inside our temple during “Tet” celebrations. Some businesses also ask the Lion dancers to come dance at their business for good luck! They usually “eat” red envelopes filled with cash from whoever is feeling generous and wants to receive good luck themselves.
You can come and learn about our Lunar New Year traditions at our temple, it is fun for all ages. They usually include crafts, activities, and performances. A limited quantity of red envelopes will also be given to children around midnight.
This event is FREE and open to the public; food and drink will be available for free-will donations.
Please follow Pho Mon Buddhist Temple (https://www.facebook.com/gdptpm?mibextid=LQQJ4d) on Facebook or Hong Kong Supermarket (https://www.facebook.com/hongkongmarketsc?mibextid=LQQJ4d who will be posting up the schedule the week of January 16th, 2023.
By Peggy La