On Feb 8, do not be surprised when someone approaches you and say ” Kung Hey Fat Choi” if you are Asian. That day is Lunar New Year and this is the year of the monkey. It should be a double celebration if you were born in the year of the monkey. I remember it used to be my favorite holiday when I was a kid, for on that day, I would get “lucky money” sealed in a red envelope from my father and all of his friends when they came to our house to wish us happy new year. Despite how miserable my childhood was, I often tried to brighten up a little when Lunar New Year came around because it is supposed to be a start with better hopes, good wishes to come true, a new beginning, better wealth, good health, hopeful opportunities, good luck, and a better life. Well, I didn’t believe in any of it, but to collect “lucky money” and be happy without knowing how to spend it. It was simply a symbolic way to cheering up a bit but it wasn’t really all that enjoyable.
Now as a grown man and being in America for so long, I don’t celebrate Lunar New Year anymore, not to mention there are no holidays from my work. The atmosphere of Lunar New year which I once felt is long gone. The sound of the firecrackers, the warm greetings from my father’s friends coming to our house are so seemingly distant to me. I can’t say those were fond memories, but one thing I know for sure is that I won’t be able to retrieve those moments ever again. The only wish coming from my father when he greeted me in Lunar New Year is that I would do well in school and be successful in the future. There was nothing else he would wish for about me other than good health and grades. Do I miss collecting “lucky money”? Of course not. But “lucky money” from my father meant a lot to me for it was a sincere symbolic way of wishing me well in the future and nobody else in this whole wide world was able to do even til this day. It was done unconditionally. So the Lunar New Year is a good day for me to remember him by and what he had contributed to my life and opened up a pathway for me to become the kind of person I am today. In fact, every day is Lunar New year to me when it comes to that.
Here I wish all of my friends a Happy Lunar New Year, whether you are in Hong Kong, China, America, Australia, or Europe. I sincerely wish you good health, prosperity, and whatever you all truly deserve. Much much love to all.