FORGET HOLLYWOOD, IT’S ALL ABOUT HOLLY-DUMPLINGS!

An L.A. Modern Immigrant's Guide to Conquering Chinese New Year
by: Penelope
● January 10, 2024

Alright, aunties, ditch all those award nights, because the real red carpet is rolling out for Chinese New Year on February 10th! Forget about kale juice, açaí bowls, and hot yoga sessions – it’s all about firecrackers, family feasting, and enough red envelopes to make your landlord faint. But let’s be real, navigating Chinese tradition in the land of lattes and avocado toast can be trickier than dodging the paparazzi on Rodeo Drive. We’re about to paint L.A. red… with a modern, immigrant twist. Because in this concrete jungle, the only roar we want to hear is from a wok full of dumplings. Sit tight, this ain’t your grandma’s Spring Festival.

 

  1. Ditch the Dragon (Unless He’s Glittery): Sure, the traditional lion dance is epic, but let’s be real, finding a 20-foot orange beast can be tricky. So why not host a DIY sequin dragon dance party? Grab some sparkly scarves, blast some K-pop, J-Pop, Chinese Pop, or any pop of your choice and turn your living room into a disco den of mythical proportions. Bonus points for homemade cardboard claws and a karaoke rendition of Katy Perry’s “Roar.”
  2. Red Envelope Revolution: Red envelopes are awesome (and lucky!), but let’s face it, sometimes cash feels a little… transactional. Upgrade your lucky money game with personalized fortunes! Slip in lottery tickets (because who doesn’t dream of being a dumpling tycoon?), coupons for a spa day (self-care is the new gold!), or even handwritten jokes (“May your year be filled with more dumplings than regrets”). Trust me, laughter is the best currency (unless it’s actual currency, then, you know… both work. 😉 But of course, during these times, cash will always be welcomed.
  3. From Fish to Fusion: Okay, steamed whole fish is impressive, but let’s be honest, it’s also a logistical nightmare in a tiny Los Angeles apartment. Embrace your inner culinary goddess and whip up a fusion feast. Think kung pao chicken tacos, bánh mì filled with Peking duck, or a Sichuan hot pot bubbling with chorizo and kimchi. Remember, although tradition is a recipe, it’s not a crime to spice it up, modern day aunties!
  4. Karaoke, Not Karaoke-oke: Sure, traditional operas are beautiful, but let’s be real, most of us wouldn’t know a Peking opera aria from a plate of kung pao noodles. So crank up the karaoke machine and unleash your inner Beyoncé! Belt out classics from Whitney Houston to Jackie Chan, and remember, the louder you sing, the more good luck you attract. (Disclaimer: earplugs for neighbors are highly recommended.)
  5. From Meditation Retreats to Mahjong Mania: Sure, silent retreats are trendy, but let’s be real, sometimes you just need to unleash your inner mahjong shark. Ditch the kale smoothies and organize a “Mahjong Mania” night! Drag out your grandma’s dusty tiles, crank up the Chinese pop music, and let the clattering tiles soundtrack your night. Bonus points for trash-talking in Cantonese, Mandarin or Fookien, and wearing your most fabulous red or green silk pajamas (because comfort is queen!).

There you have it, aunties! Chinese New Year isn’t just about dusty traditions and awkward family dinners. It’s a chance to embrace your cultural heritage, unleash your inner firecracker, and paint your life with a kaleidoscope of laughter, dumplings, and mahjong battles. Remember, tradition is a canvas, not a cage. Grab your glitter glue, your karaoke mic, and your most fabulous qipao, and let’s make this the most epic Spring Festival ever!

Now go forth, conquer, and remember, life is too short for boring kale salads. Happy New Year of the Wood Dragon where it is said that growth and development will be the theme of the year. While you are at it, wear green as it is said to be the auspicious color for next year. 😉

K.I.T (keep in touch)

(because we make kits, DUH)

ABOUT THE WRITER…

Penelope

Unicorn whisperer, miracle believer, and master connector of people and ideas for the greater good. Behind every success, there’s a friend like Pen. With kaleidoscope color-changing hair, Pen is a total MOOD with an eclectic flair for fashion, jewelry, and design. A lover, a traveler, and a happy, smiley wanderer. With her, shopping addictions are enabled and totally justified, so consider yourself warned. Always ready to embark on a wild adventure with friends (both furry and human) and family, Pen will literally work for food and look aesthetically pleasing doing it.

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