Welcoming the Wood Dragon: A Lunar New Year Celebration

Ashleigh Smith + photo

Ashleigh Smith

Feb 5
5 min read
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2024 Year of the Dragon Lunar New Year Illustration by Jason Jones
Chelsea Hafer Written By Chelsea Hafer

As the world eagerly awaits the arrival of the Lunar New Year, a festivity filled with joy, tradition, and anticipation, we find ourselves on the cusp of an extraordinary year – the Year of the Wood Dragon. What feelings does this remarkable celebration evoke in you? What's the story behind this ancient holiday that captivates billions around the world? Join us on a journey to unravel the wonders of the Lunar New Year and discover how you can embrace this year's Wood-Dragon.

Through the Ages - A Brief History

The history of Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year, is woven with thousands of years of tradition. Its origins can be traced back over 3,500 years to the Shang Dynasty when people held sacrificial ceremonies to honor gods and ancestors at the beginning or end of each year. Over time, the festival evolved, and during the Han Dynasty, the date of the celebration, the first day of the lunar calendar, became fixed. Various dynasties contributed to its development, introducing customs like firecrackers and the giving of red envelopes for good luck. It flourished through the Tang, Song, and Qing Dynasties, becoming a time for family reunions, feasting, and entertainment. In modern times, it has retained its cultural significance, while new trends such as online shopping and televised galas have added contemporary elements to this age-old celebration.

Today, Lunar New Year remains a cherished and widely celebrated holiday, not only in China but also in many Asian communities around the world. It serves as a time for families to come together, honor ancestors, and exchange well-wishes for the year ahead. While traditional customs like the lion dance, dragon parades, and the giving of red envelopes persist, the festival has also adapted to modern life. Families connect across distances through video calls, and people often travel to visit relatives during the holiday. The significance of the Lunar New Year extends beyond cultural rituals; it embodies the hope for a prosperous and harmonious future. In a globalized world, it's not only a time to reflect on the past but also an occasion to embrace the cultural diversity and unity that make this celebration so unique and enduring.

2024 - Year of the Wood Dragon

We have created a special Lunar New Year Seed Assortment to step into the Year of the Wood Dragon. These carefully selected seeds are not just a gift; they are a symbol of growth, prosperity, and renewal. Let's explore the varieties in this assortment and their significance:

  • Leisure Cilantro 香菜: Known for its cleansing properties, cilantro represents a fresh start in the new year. Use it to add flavor and vitality to your dishes.
  • Chinese Cabbage 高麗菜: A symbol of wealth and prosperity, cabbage embodies the abundance you wish to welcome into your life. Try it in stir-fries and dumplings.
  • Yu Choy Sum 菜心: This leafy green vegetable signifies unity and harmony in your family. Include it in your Lunar New Year stir-fries for a taste of togetherness.
  • Bunching Onion 蔥 (sounds similar to 聪明): A harbinger of good fortune, bunching onions represent the growth of wealth and success. Add them to your favorite dishes for a prosperous year.
  • Lettuce 生菜: Lettuce is a symbol of wealth and rising fortune, making it a must-have for your New Year's celebrations. Incorporate it into your salads and wraps.
  • Sweet Corn 甜玉米: Sweet corn embodies the promise of a sweet life ahead. Enjoy it in soups, salads, or as a side dish to bring sweetness into your year.
  • Chinese Leek 蒜花: A representation of the flowering of opportunities, these leeks are perfect for adding a pop of color to your dishes.
  • Japanese Cucumber 黄瓜: Cucumbers signify longevity and happiness. Slice them up for a refreshing addition to your Lunar New Year meals.

Embrace these seeds as a token of well wishes for your year ahead. Plant them in your garden and nurture them as you set your intentions for the new year.

The Lunar New Year is more than a celebration; it's a tapestry woven with stories, traditions, and hopes. As we welcome the Year of the Wood Dragon, let us honor the past, celebrate the present, and look forward to the future with optimism. Celebrate the new year with the True Leaf Market Seed Assortment and sow the seeds of prosperity, growth, and renewal in your life. Consider gifting these meaningful seeds to your loved ones or starting your own garden of prosperity. Share your thoughts and plans for this Lunar New Year in the comments below, and let's embark on this new year's journey together. Happy Lunar New Year!


Chelsea Hafer, True Leaf Market Writer

Chelsea is a passionate advocate for sustainable agriculture and loves getting her hands dirty and watching things grow! She graduated from Georgetown University in 2022 with a degree in Environmental Justice and now resides in Park City, Utah, where she works as a ski instructor. Her love for nature extends to gardening and hiking, and she has gained valuable insights from working on farms in Italy, Hawaii, and Mexico, learning various sustainable agriculture techniques like permaculture and Korean Natural Farming.

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2 comments

Dav. K Chow

As an Asian American, growing up in San Francisco Chinatown. “Chinese New Year” is a big deal. It generally starts with all the family members gathering together and have a New Year Eve dinner or you can have it on New Year day also. There are several dishes sever on this meal, each dishes has a symbolic meaning for the New Year. There is one dish that is vegetarian a dish. It is call the Buddhist dish, no meat whatsoever. The vegetables used for this dish according my mom recipe: Napa Cabbage, Chinese Celery, Carrot, Snow Pea, Iceberg Lettuce and cilantro. There are a lot ingredients, liked Lotus Root, Shiitake Mushrooms,Bamboo Shoots, Wood Ear Fungus, Seaweed that looks like black hair, very expensive and clear rice noodles. After the dish is done you put in a large serving plate and people would tear a lettuce leaf and spread some Hoy Sen Sauce or what you called Plum Sauce and then you put a tablespoon of the vegetables on to the lettuce leaves like a sandwich and that how we eat dish. There are several other dishes for the New Year, like, Roasted Pork, Steamed Fish, Oyster, prawns, Stewing Chicken with ginger and green onions dipping sauce. Each dish has a symbolic an meaning. You mention about the 🧧red envelope, the married couples generally give the red envelop with money inside to the kids and never been married relatives. When we were young we use to get a dollar or five dollars but now day its twenty dollars or as much as fifty dollars. I call it blackmail money or hush money. The kids would go to the internet and tell everyone how cheap you are if you give too small amount. We used to call it lucky money but now days I call it “extortion money.” Oh, another thing, you can say anything bad about person and no swearing for two weeks, that’s how long the celebration lasts. That is tough being an ex-navy man. In the Navy they taught you how to swear like a sailor. Also if you are going to set up a gift basket for Chinese New Year, this is what kind of vegetable we use to cook: Napa Cabbage, Snow Peas, Chinese Celery, Chinese Broccoli, can use Regular Broccoli, Choy Sum, Iceberg Lettuce, Cabbage, Lemongrass, Green Onion, and Cilantro. If you sell Chinese Long string beans seeds, that will be good. I think that is about it, Oh, “Happy Chinese New Year.” 🙏🐉🐲🥂🎉🧨💥🧧🪭🥡🥢


Sue

Thanks for the enlightening and hopeful msg and the cool assortment of seeds to match the Lunar Year Celebration.


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