Happy Year of the Snake! “Gong xi fa cai!”, “Chúc mừng năm mới!”, “Seh-heh bohk mah-nee bah-du-seh-yoh! These are just a few of the greetings heard in Asian communities around the world with the arrival of the Lunar New Year, a two-week celebration that honors family, community and new beginnings.
Observance of the Lunar New Year began nearly 5,000 years ago in China and it is regarded as the most important traditional Chinese holiday. Over the centuries, the celebration of the Lunar New Year has spread around the globe, from Vietnam, Korea and Thailand to England, Australia and the United States.
While regional Lunar New Year celebrations retain the core values of the holiday --family, good fortune, and happiness — they are also strongly influenced by the local culture, environment and, now more than ever, technology.
Recently, Verizon presented its first Lunar New Year Celebration at Union Square in San Francisco that featured a different spin on the holiday. Instead of firecrackers popping or lion dance drums pounding, participants were treated to the latest songs by YouTube sensations Jason Chen, Jayne Rio and New Heights blasting from the main stage.
These talented musicians —along with comedian David So — attracted hundreds of young Lunar New Year revelers, who shared the scene with friends around the world through social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.