The Lunar New Year is a vibrant and joyous celebration that is embraced by numerous Asian nations and overseas communities with great zeal and enthusiasm. The festivities kick off with fireworks lighting up the night sky, sumptuous feasts shared with loved ones, and the traditional gifting of red envelopes filled with good luck money for the children. It is a time-honored tradition that marks the beginning of a new lunar calendar year and continues for 15 days, culminating in grand celebrations under the glow of the first full moon.
This year, Taiwan ushered in the Year of the Dragon with much pomp and grandeur, as newly elected president Lai Ching-te and the speaker of the Legislature, Han Kuo-yu, graced the festivities with their presence. Amidst the revelry, President Tsai highlighted the ongoing struggle between “Freedom and democracy versus authoritarianism,” emphasizing the importance of upholding Taiwan’s values in the face of external pressures. Despite facing challenges, Taiwan has remained steadfast in its commitment to maintaining the status quo and bolstering national defense.
As families across Taiwan gathered to celebrate the Lunar New Year, the island witnessed a surge in travel as residents embarked on journeys to reunite with their loved ones. The bustling highways and fully booked flights bore witness to the exodus of people returning home or seizing the opportunity to embark on vacations during the week-long holiday. The tradition of lighting bottle rockets and fireworks symbolizes bidding farewell to the past year’s troubles and welcoming new beginnings with hope and positivity.
In South Korea, a similar scene unfolded as millions of people embarked on journeys to visit relatives scattered across the country. The holiday season coincided with heightened tensions with North Korea, underscoring the importance of national security and the sacrifices made by the country’s soldiers to safeguard its borders. President Yoon Suk Yeol expressed gratitude to the troops for their unwavering dedication and service, allowing the nation to embrace the holiday spirit despite the looming threat.
Across the globe, Vietnamese communities joined in the festivities of Tet, the Lunar New Year celebration in Vietnam, while Asian diasporas in cities like New York and San Francisco organized parades and events to commemorate the occasion. The Lunar New Year serves as a unifying force that transcends borders and brings together people from diverse cultural backgrounds to revel in the spirit of renewal and hope for a prosperous future.