Chinese New Year is the biggest holiday and celebration in Chinese culture. Marking the beginning of Spring season and lasting two weeks long, Chinese New Year is accompanied by a plethora of observances, from honoring ancestors, to large reunion dinners, to lantern hanging, to mooncake eating. It is customary for those celebrating the holiday to thoroughly clean their home (to eradicate any ill-fortune) and to pass along as much good fortune and prosperity as possible. This is often exemplified by the commonly-seen red paper bags, filled with money and given to the children of each family. Other common traditions include dumping-making and eating, lighting firecrackers, and the famous Dragon-dances in the streets.
While alcohol and partying has not been customary in past years, lately in Los Angeles there has been a surge in revelry to celebrate this monumental holiday, mostly by Chinese-American and Asian-American citizens. Chinese New Year is a festive time of the year and happens early in each calendar year, giving reason to be thankful and communal, no matter your ethnicity, background, socioeconomic status, or political views. Everyone gets together, acts like family, and eats some damn good Chinese food!