By Wayne Chan
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
It’s time for a reset.
It’s been a long year. It’s been a long two years, as a matter of fact. It’s time for all of us to come together, celebrate that we’ve come through a challenging period, and set our sights on a new horizon. And what better way to do that than to celebrate the annual Lunar New Year celebration and 2022’s Year of the Tiger?
As a public service to our readers, I’d like to highlight what the Year of the Tiger is all about and the ways that we can celebrate the occasion after the last two years of dealing with Covid.
Lunar New Year is a time where people can put the past behind them and look forward to a fresh start. This year’s zodiac animal (of 12) is the tiger, which symbolizes bravery, courage, and strength, as well as an uplifting spirit of hope, which couldn’t come sooner after the year we’ve had.
So how do Asian Americans and their families celebrate the Lunar New Year? Celebrations usually entail large family gatherings, red lanterns hanging from the ceiling, a wide assortment of dumplings, spring rolls, whole fish, and noodles.
The celebration wouldn’t be complete without a row of dancers covered by a long dragon costume dancing to the drums of energetic musicians. And to end the celebration, everyone lights fireworks to symbolize scaring off evil spirits to allow everyone to start off the new year fresh.
Since I take my public service responsibilities seriously, and the fact that we are still in the throes of a pandemic, I need to filter all of these traditional activities to the realities we are living in today. That means I need to make some changes to the traditional festivities. Here they are:
- Change #1: The CDC recommends that group activities be limited to family members only. If you must invite others to the celebration, I’d suggest setting up a Zoom call as an alternative.
- Change #2: Having red lanterns with lit candles hanging down from the ceiling seems to be a bit of a fire hazard. Instead, ask everyone attending to do a Google search of a red dragon and from time to time, have everyone wave their phones in the air.
- Change #3: The dragon dance can still go on, but since Covid rules state that you can’t have more than a certain number of people in a gathering, the dragon may not have a tail. And because any drum procession will no doubt violate neighborhood noise curfews, an alternative music source should be considered. Might I suggest Yanni’s greatest hits?
- Change #4: Fireworks? It’s a fire hazard. But if the objective is to scare something away, might I suggest one member of the party periodically yell out, “The timeshare presentation is about to begin!”
Honestly, I can’t think of anything scarier.
So, what do we have left? A massive Zoom call with a very short dragon dancing to Yanni’s new age music and Uncle George screaming about a timeshare presentation coming up.
What were we celebrating again?
Truly though, happy Lunar New Year everyone. We’ve gotten through the last year. I’m thankful we’ve made it through a challenging time.
Joy is the simplest form of rebellion.
Wayne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.