2021 is the Year of the Ox. Celebrate with traditional new year snacks and customs!

Unlike the turning of the calendar page on January 1, the lunar new year is celebrated according to the significant phases of the moon. Ushering it in can take up to two weeks, and this year it's from February 12 through February 26. The holiday is observed across the world, most notably in China and other East Asian countries.

Decorate with plenty of red if you plan on bringing good luck. Paper lanterns, banners, and wall hangings are perfect for lunar new year festivities. Stick to a bright, bold crimson with black or red accents.

Chinese lanterns

Courtesy of Milada Vigerova on Pexels

According to Chinese tradition, what you eat at your celebration can predict how the coming year will unfold. Long noodles signify happiness and longevity, whereas citrus fruit, spring rolls, and dumplings all bring on wealth and prosperity. Want to bring your family together? Try having some sweet rice balls for that!

One of the most anticipated customs is the gifting of hongbao or red envelopes stuffed with money. Anyone who has Chinese relatives or friends knows the thrill of receiving one of these little packets, even if it only contains a few dollars. By literally sharing your wealth, the thought is that you're sending out your good wishes and hopes for the new year to your recipients. Not just any old envelope will do, though, the trademark red color is a must! If you're on the receiving end of this charming tradition, accept the hongbao with both hands and a slight bow forward to show your gratitude.

Whether you're hunting down some longevity noodles or stuffing your own red envelopes, take a moment to usher in the lunar new year. After all, who couldn't use a little more luck and prosperity?

Will you be celebrating the lunar new year? What's on the menu? Let us know in the comments.