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Traditions of the Lunar NewYear I NV I T I NG H E A LTH AND GOOD FORTUN E
Last month, we focused on New Year’s resolutions and leading a healthy lifestyle. This month, I want to share some stories about New Year’s again, though I promise I’m not forgetting what month it is. My family is Vietnamese, so every year, we celebrate the Lunar New Year. Rather than being on a set date, the Lunar New Year follows the cycle of the moon, which means the exact day varies from year to year. This year, Friday, Feb. 16, marks the beginning of the new year, which happens to be the Year of the Dog. As a whole, Asian cultures are very superstitious, and we have a lot of traditions that surround the new year. For example, on the evening before the first day of the new year, everyone leaves the house. At midnight, you walk through the front door, but the first person who enters your home should be someone who enjoyed the most good fortune during the previous year. This is symbolic and is meant to represent inviting good fortune into your own home. All the traditions celebrated for the Lunar New Year are symbolic like this. On the first day of the new year, families and friends gather to share a big meal with enough food to rival an American Thanksgiving. This is considered good luck, and the hope is that food will be equally as plentiful the rest of the year. Another tradition I really enjoy is when older people give younger kids little red envelopes with money inside. In exchange, the young person wishes their elder health, happiness, and good fortune in the coming year. The idea here is to give luck and good fortune to others in your family and to have it offered to you in return. When all is said and done, the goal of the Lunar New Year traditions are to help people start the year off on the right foot. All these traditions bring people together and encourage us to reach out to our families and recognize they are our greatest source of happiness and good fortune.
“Health and happiness can be rare, and I am so fortunate to have an opportunity to empower patients to have the best year of their lives.”
I am always proud to help my patients, and that’s especially true this time of year. When I see someone come in who has struggled with pain and lost hope, I am able to help them, and it fills me with joy. Health and happiness can be rare, and I am so fortunate to have an opportunity to empower patients to have the best year of their lives.
I wish you a Happy New Year! May health, happiness, and good fortune come to you and your loved ones.
–Dr. Bao Tha i
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