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For Hong Kong-born Clare Ngai, founder of the BonbonWhims jewelry line, Chinese New Year, also called Lunar New Year, was a larger-than-life celebration growing up.
“It’s the equivalent of Thanksgiving and Christmas all wrapped in one but a monthlong celebration of family, food and love,” Ngai said of the multiweek occasion, which starts on Jan. 22 this year.
“Unfortunately due to COVID, I haven’t been home in more than three years to make dumplings with my mom and grandmother, among other festivities. There are days I’m incredibly homesick, especially during this time of year, so being able to still celebrate my culture and heritage, and share the significance of Chinese New Year through my brand to our community, is such a personal joy for me,” she said. Ngai suggested giving the “mega lucky” recycled acetate hair clip and heart-shaped ring from BonbonWhims as a gift to be worn throughout the year.
Similarly, Los Angeles industrial designer Christina Lau cherishes the Lunar New Year because it emphasizes family and the optimism inherent in a fresh start.
Lau, who has created a line of handcrafted red envelopes for her Clau line of leather goods, says she enjoys preparing traditional meals like a sweet glutinous rice ball soup and visiting with family.
“There are many traditions and festivities we will do within the 16 days, one of which is going to my parents and older siblings on the first day and wishing them a [Happy New Year], wishing them good health,” she said.
“In return, I receive a red envelope for good wishes and luck for the year.”
But there are more than red envelopes to help celebrate the Year of the Rabbit. In fact, Lunar New Year has become a worldwide marketing campaign spanning clothing to candles. Here, we offer a sample of Lunar New Year-inspired items, some of which go all in on the rabbit theme.