For more than 1 billion Asians around the world, Feb. 1 marked the start of the Lunar New Year, a time to celebrate new beginnings with family, food and wishes for prosperity in many Asian countries, including China, the two Koreas, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore, as well as the Asian diaspora.
The celebrations can continue for up to two weeks, to accommodate what is usually the largest travel event for a country. Although it may not be earmarked as a national holiday outside of Asia, the rituals of food, ceremonial greetings and family gatherings play out globally.
But for adoptees, the holiday can be complicated: They may not partake in rituals handed down through generations. For many, traditions start with themselves, burnished by an alchemy of research, adaptation and a continuous revision of self-discovery.
These four women in the D.C. area shared how they’ve forged ways to celebrate a holiday originating from their unknown histories.