13 Lunar New Year Traditions From Around the World

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!

Could This Be the Most Underrated Winter Destination in America?

The Pacific Northwest really heats up in the winter.

When it gets cold, everyone you know probably heads somewhere warm. Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean, you name it—if it’s warm and has a beach, people are flocking there. But may I propose the Pacific Northwest (or “PNW” for those in the know) to you instead? There’s a variety of climates, from rainy Seattle to relatively comfortable Portland, to snowy Boise, meaning a little something for everyone. And the region is packed full of stunning nature, marvelous food, and memorable experiences. If you haven’t been to the PNW in the wintertime, let me tempt you with the very best to add to your itinerary wishlist.

7 Foods That Are Taboo Around the World

Some are common knowledge, but others may surprise you.

Food taboos exist everywhere in the world. There are different reasons why some products and ingredients are prohibited in cultures. Many practicing Jews abstain from non-kosher diets; Islamic law prohibits food items that are not halal; Jains don’t eat meat and root vegetables (potato, onion, and garlic). In some cultures and tribes, children and menstruating and pregnant women have restrictions, while during events such as weddings and funerals or Lent and Navratri, people may also refrain from certain foods. And then, of course, there are environmental and empathetic reasons. These taboos are not created equal. In this list, we are discussing food taboos around the world and the reasons they exist.

‘Emily in Paris’ Isn’t the Only One. Here Are 5 Other Shows That Have Perpetuated Stereotypes

So many characters, so many stereotypes.

Netflix’s Emily in Paris is a roaring success worldwide and has been renewed for two more seasons. But unsurprisingly, it has received criticism for its stereotypical portrayal of French people as unfriendly, lazy, and unfaithful. Season 2 further outraged people with more cliches. The Brits found football-and beer-loving Alfie an unrealistic bloke, and Ukraine’s culture minister Oleksandr Tkachenko lambasted the show for poorly writing a Ukrainian character, Petra. “In Emily in Paris, we have a caricature image of a Ukrainian woman that is unacceptable. It is also insulting. Is that how Ukrainians are seen abroad?” he asked. But Emily in Paris isn’t the only TV show that perpetuates stereotypes and prejudices. Characters are often reduced to one unflattering identity and all the complexities of human nature are taken out of the equation. Let’s have a look at some of the shows that have portrayed such characters. (And this is really just the tip of the iceberg because there are so many others. Remember Marguerite in The Golden Girls, Mrs. Kim in Gilmore Girls, Han Lee in 2 Broke Girls, Jacqueline Voorhees in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Tina Cohen-Chang and Matt Chang in Glee?)

Here’s What Mexican Tequila Brands Really Think About Celebrity Tequilas

F or many years tequila has been a mans game. Increasingly, its narrowing further to a non-Mexican celebritys enterprise. A-listers are converting their cult followings into tequila drinkers and causing ripple effects in the industry, which is now said to be worth US$10.8-billion-a-year. These days you can sip on stylish agave drinks from the likes … Continued