History of Functional Mushrooms & The Lunar New Year

History of Functional Mushrooms & The Lunar New Year

What is the Lunar New Year?

The Lunar New year is a primarily East Asian celebration of a new year based on the lunisolar calendar, which observes the moon's cycles. This year, it falls on February 1 and ends on February 15 with the Lantern Festival and we celebrate the year of the Water Tiger.The Lunar Year is celebrated worldwide in countries such as China, Hong Kong, Taiwan (農曆新年 nóng lì xīn nián), Korea (설날 Seollal), and Vietnam (Tết nguyên Đán 節元旦) with celebrations unique to their own cultures and traditions. It is also celebrated outside of East Asia across a wide demographic of the East Asian diaspora, in places such as Canada and the United States.

Why is the Lunar New Year important to Hekate?

Hekate’s pursuit of unlocking the power of mushrooms is based on the historical and cultural knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that has been practiced for thousands of years. Medicinal mushrooms are nothing new, and it’s important for us to acknowledge and celebrate the culture from which this knowledge comes, that is, Chinese and East-Asian culture. Recognizing and learning about the diverse and rich breadth of cultures that exist beyond our periphery is critical for breeding an enriched worldview and a growing understanding of those around us so we can become better global citizens.

For Lunar New Year, we will be donating 10% of our profits between February 1 to 5 to the Hua Foundation, a youth empowerment non-profit organization that works on racial equity and civic engagement issues based in Vancouver’s Chinatown and beyond. Read more about the Hua foundation or stay posted on our community feature post.

What does the Lunar New Year look like?

In the Chinese Lunar New Year, sino-communities gather for 15 days of celebrations, festivities, traditions, and incredible homemade food that bind together family, friends, and communities. You can expect loud and exciting family dinners, red envelopes being gifted (紅包 hóng bāo / 利事 lai see), and lion dancing performances on the street! We recognize that this may not reflect the experiences of all East Asian individuals who may not be able to be with their families (or choose not) because of personal circumstances or socio-political barriers. And that’s okay too.

Why is it important?

The Lunar New Year brings together family, friends, and communities. It’s a time to slow down, experience joy and connect with our kin (and chosen kin). For the East Asian diaspora who may be born to immigrant parents in North America, it’s an opportunity to learn more about their culture, (re)connect with their roots, and grow closer to our family through these cultural practices. For East Asians living outside of their home countries and missing their family and friends, it may be a time to celebrate and remember their mother culture and perhaps share it with those around them who are new to it.

Where can I celebrate? 



San Francisco

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