Growing up in Hawaii, Lunar New Year was an annual highlight that was spent noshing on traditional Chinese dishes (like Gao and Jai) and getting your eardrums blown out by the Lion Dance at our neighborhood strip mall. While it wasn’t quite as cool as having actual lions dancing through the streets, we had the next best thing: watching a handful of adults inside a long lion costume who gyrated to an incessant drum beat and firecrackers. As a clumsy kid, I remember being in awe of their amazing rhythmic moves that prevented any embarrassing tripping or tangled lion feet.
As the lion made its way around the strip mall, each store owner would offer him some money wrapped in red paper (lai see), in the hope of warding off “bad spirits.” Think of it as the Chinese version of mafia protection money – with much cooler dance moves. 🙂
This year, Lunar New Year, which is based on the phases of the moon, falls on January 31, 2014. I’m always a little sad that my five year old hasn’t had a chance to experience the Lunar New Year celebrations – maybe this year, we’ll go into DC’s Chinatown for the festivities!
Or…maybe, we can just exchange Best Buy gift cards! Since Best Buy knows that Lunar New Year is one of the most important holidays for Asians all around the world (including Asian-Americans) as it celebrates the beginning of the year and the ending of winter, they just released an Asian-inspired eGiftcard, available for purchase or gifting from BestBuy.com. You’ll find red giftcards (to symbolize prosperity) with the two Koi fish, a neat twist on the traditional red envelope! I’m sure the Lions dancing around the Hawaii shopping centers would approve. 🙂
Disclosure: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.