My favorite thing about having married into a Vietnamese family, I think, is the celebration of the lunar new year. When I was a kid growing up in Texas, the event was this weird thing that Chinese people did on the other side of the planet; living in San Francisco, it was the day of the year that my walk to work through Chinatown involved stepping over mounds of spent firecracker papers amidst silent, hungover streets. Now, it’s a gathering of family, a feast, the introduction of Buddhist traditions into my life— quite a change.
What I really like about the lunar new year having become a part of my life is that it gives the year a more solid beginning. January, the first month following traditional calendar new year, always feels like such a limping start to things. If you treat the lunar new year as a proper start and January as a sort of chrysalis phase, though, it all seems to come together nicely.
I intend to make the coming year a more fulfilling one for myself. Here’s wishing the best for you as well.