As we embark on the annual Lunar New Year celebration, Paradise Gardens at Disney California Adventure Park has been transformed with traditional red and gold decor, lively entertainment and authentic dishes that bring the holiday to life.
This year, the tribute to Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cultures honors the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese calendar and the Year of the Cat in the Vietnamese calendar.
“Lunar New Year represents a fresh start to the new year,” said cast member Wing Lee, a Revenue Management and Analytics manager who is also a member of the Business Employee Resource Group (BERG) that represents the Community of Pacific Islanders, Asians and Allies (COMPASS). At home, Wing welcomes the new year by getting a fresh haircut, buying new clothes and cleaning her house, traditionally done to bring in good luck and clean out bad luck.
(Happy New Year)
In addition to celebrating at home, Wing uses her passion for authentic cultural representation to guide the Lunar New Year celebration at the resort. With other members of COMPASS, she reviewed the entertainment, food and beverage and other offerings and provided translations for traditional Chinese New Year wishes.
“I know my voice is heard,” said Wing. “I am enabled to bring my authentic self to work and provide a perspective that is unique to me.”
Wing’s family traditions are at the heart of her work with COMPASS on the Lunar New Year celebration. “I celebrate Lunar New Year’s Eve with (團年飯), a family reunion dinner,” said Wing. “We eat traditional food representing good luck, fortune and prosperity and my favorite dish is longevity noodles (長壽麵), because they symbolize long life.” Another traditional dish is steamed fish (蒸魚). “The character for fish 魚 (yú) has the same pronunciation as 餘, meaning surplus or extra,” said Wing. “A typical blessing for Lunar New Year is 年年有餘, wishing you to have a surplus of food and money every year.”
Wing’s family also celebrates the holiday at the Disneyland Resort. “I love bringing my parents and family to Lunar New Year because it reminds them of their celebrations from childhood,” said Wing. “We see ourselves reflected in Disney and see other people enjoying Lunar New Year. That makes me happy.”
Experience the Lunar New Year celebration at Disney California Adventure Park now through Feb. 15.
(Wishing you happiness and prosperity)