February 5, 2019 marks the beginning of Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival,
and the Year of the Pig in the Chinese zodiac. The celebration dates back
thousands of years and more than 20% of the world celebrates the holiday.
Lunar New Year is marked by the coming together of family and friends to
feast and welcome the new year. A variety of lucky foods are traditionally
eaten for their symbolic meaning surrounding either their Chinese pronunciation
or physical appearance—with individual dishes representing specific
aspects of good fortune to come in the new year. For example,
- Egg rolls symbolize wealth
- Chow mein noodles symbolize long life
- Shrimp symbolize happiness
Another tradition of Lunar New Year is the giving of red envelopes, called
hong bao in Mandarin. These monetary gifts are presented at social and family gatherings
to children and unmarried adults during Lunar New Year. The color red symbolizes good luck and is said to ward off evil spirits.
To bring good fortune to your family this year, visit your nearest
Panda Express location to celebrate Lunar New Year beginning February 5. You can also make your
own red envelope donation to kids treated at East Tennessee Children’s
Hospital at the register.
In 2018, Panda Express employees and customers donated more than $67,000
to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital to fund critical treatments,
healthcare services and pediatric medical equipment.