Lunar New Year 2022

Happy Lunar New Year 2022! It’s time for snacking!

Honestly, some of my favorite treats pop up around this season. I’m a sucker for those nut-embedded and sesame-studded sticks. They have that winning combo of crunchy and sweet.

Round container of nuts-and-sesame sticks for lunar new year

Tang yuan balls are also fun to eat. I didn’t grow up having these around Spring Festival, but I enjoy their glutinous chewy exterior and hidden interior treasure. (It’s no surprise that, of course, I like the tang yuans with peanut butter filling—see above snack preference.)

What I remember getting as a child were also red-colored hard candies. They’re wrapped in shiny paper that emulates strawberries. Deceptive because they don’t taste anything like real strawberries!

One of the essential duties when New Year rolled around was making sure to visit relatives, especially elders. I remember dutifully going along with my parents to see family. We got to wish them Happy New Year, along with much prosperity and good health. Back then, I was more interested in getting red envelopes or laisees filled with cash or coins than in the actual greetings. Nowadays, I value the interaction and respect more. (Although, I admit, it’s also hard on my pocketbook to be giving red envelopes out to kids and—surprising news to me when I got older—unmarried adults.)

Interestingly, even though I’ve been in Taiwan during the Lunar New Year, the emphasis there wasn’t as much on celebrating as on being together. Yes, there were some decorations (and exorbitant prices for taxis and hotels), but what I really noticed were generations of people coming back and enjoying each other’s company.

Here in the United States, I try to go to the surrounding geographic areas for local festivities. While I always have fun admiring performances, checking out vendors, and stocking up on snacks, the most important thing is being infused with culture and doing it together as a family.

Happy Lunar New Year!

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