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13 Lunar New Year Traditions From Around the World

13 Lunar New Year Traditions From Around the World

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Usher in the Year of the Tiger with these traditions hailing from Vietnam to Malaysia.

Chinese New Year is possibly considered the most significant and important festival on the Lunar Calendar. This year, the Year of the Tiger, officially begins on February 1 and so marks many traditions and cultural activities Asian families must adhere to in the lead-up to the big day. Lucky foods must be cooked and eaten, a visit to the temple to honor those no longer with us is mandatory, and cleaning the house is imperative to remove any evil spirits and bad energy for a fresh start to a new year. With millions of Chinese migrants around the world, the Lunar New Year is not restricted to just the walls of China but has expanded all across Asia. Each country, region, and even sub-regional communities have their own traditions, showing the diversity of the Asian diaspora. My childhood involved a visit to the temple with my aunty and uncle, as well as going shopping with my mom for new clothes, but my friends in Vietnam, Singapore, and Malaysia have other family traditions I didn’t even know existed, which I love hearing about. Here are a few of my favorite Lunar New Year traditions that you too can incorporate into your new year celebrations. 新年快樂! Happy New Year!

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The Hawaiian word "Mālama" means to give back. These 12 hotels offer some serious Mālama for its guests.

Visiting Hawaii is a dream come true for a lot of people. What’s better than roadside waterfalls, swimming among turtles, mantas, and dolphins, and sipping a tropical cocktail while watching the sunset? These tantalizing experiences have encouraged people to visit Hawaii for decades, and now these experiences are encouraging visitors to give back to this special destination. Through the Mālama Hawaii program, guests are encouraged to connect with the land and the people of Hawaii. Mālama means to “give back,” and through the program, visitors who volunteer can receive perks from participating hotels including free stays, resort credits, free car rentals, and more. “The most powerful aspect of Hawaii is not our incredible natural beauty or rich culture; it’s the deep relationship between the two,” muses the team at Mālama Hawaii. “When you learn to love Hawaii the way we do, not only do you help us perpetuate all that we hold dear, but you get to experience what it’s like to have a connection with this remarkable place.” Volunteering during a Hawaii vacation isn’t just about educating visitors during their visit, it’s about creating a lasting connection with the people and the ‘āina (land). Hawaii has, in many ways, already been ravaged by colonialism, and these programs allow visitors to both restore the old ways of Hawaii while also ensuring there is a Hawaii for future generaitons to enjoy. Putting hands in the ground and planting a tree may not seem like a lot, but it creates a lasting kuleana (responsibility) in those who put it there. It gives visitors, especially their keiki (children), an opportunity to watch something grow over time. Here are 12 Hawaii hotels that allow guests to give back through Hawaii voluntourism and the Mālama Hawaii program.

A dose of inspiration for your next trip.

Writers, with their vivid imagination, paint such a fine picture of a destination that readers aspire to walk the same paths. On one page, you’ll be breathing in the crisp air of a mountain town. Pick another book and you’ll be sitting down for a meal in the home of an Italian family. Someone else will take you deep into America’s small cities and you’ll have this yearning to discover your own backyard.  For centuries, authors and poets have satiated the curiosity of their readers about the world and we’ve been better for it. This list of travel authors is another way to find direction for your next big trip—let them be your guide, compass, and inspiration. These stories are truly special, so even if you don’t take these journeys, you will taste a slice of this world unknown to you before.

Paradise found on Hawaii’s oldest island.

Kauai is famous for its natural beauty and abundance of outdoor adventures. The oldest of the Hawaiian islands, it’s had plenty of time to erode its peaks into glorious verdant shapes. Home to one of the wettest spots on the planet, you’ll find waterfalls, rainbows, and plenty of lush forests to hike here. The pellucid waters are filled with multicolored fish; dozens of movies have been filmed here, and the island possesses the only navigable river in Hawaii, perfect for kayaking to secret grottoes. While there are tons of fun things to do when you travel to Kauai, these are the very best. WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT KAUAI?Kauai is a true paradise year-round, but if you’re concerned about heat or heavy rains, the best months to visit Kauai with consideration for the weather are April and May (following the winter rains and before the summer heat hits) and September through November (before the wet winter begins). Here are some of the best things to do on Kauai and COVID travel information to ensure a smooth journey.

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