What’s Lunar New Year and Why do we hand out Red Envelopes?

Irvine South eNews

Lunar New Year Celebration @ Saddleback Church Irvine South

Happy Lunar New Year!!!

Come again?  What’s Lunar New Year??  I want to invite you into my world as I grew up in a 1st generation Vietnamese home.  We celebrated Lunar New Year (aka Chinese New Year), which was based on the lunar calendar.  January 28 starts the 2 week festivities in many Asian countries around the world.  Because So-cal represents one of the largest Asian communities, many theme parks have begun celebrating it as well.  Take a look at some of our favorite places.

I made a quick video explaining some of the fun traditions I grew up with – “What’s the Red Envelope? Is it the Year of the Rooster or the Dog?  And does this have anything to do with GOD?”  Go ahead and CLICK HERE as I make an attempt to explain Lunar New Year.

Pastor Kevin explains the meaning of Lunar New Year


I believe the Bible tells us to seize every opportunity to build a Bridge of Commonality before we can share the Bridge of Christ.  If we want to witness to a diverse community, we want to begin building our culturally elasticity.   Let me show us how we can do that through Lunar New Year.

From the brief video clip above, those who celebrate Lunar New Year believe in Blessings & Prosperity come from the “heavenly abode”.  However, there is no true name to this “unknown god”.  Doesn’t this sound familiar as we read about the apostle Paul in Athens at Mars Hill?  For those who follow Christ, we believe that ALL BLESSINGS flow from a God that has a name – Jesus Christ.  We can relate to him, talk to him, and seek his presence.  He’s NOT some floating ghost that shows up when we pray really, really, really hard and give lots of money.

Moreover, this is the “Year of Rooster”.  This zodiac represents “loyalty and commitment”.  Interestingly enough, we have a story in the Bible of the disciple Peter who expressed his TOTAL commitment to Jesus.  Yet, after the ROOSTER crowed, we witnessed Peter denying Christ three times.  I believe this story reminds us that Christ was the one who was ALWAYS LOYAL to us even when our faith waivers.  It is Christ who sticks with us no matter how bad it gets in life.

Now, I want to invite you to a special Lunar New Year Celebration on Saturday, 2/4.  After our 5 PM service, we’re going to introduce you to a celebration I grew up with in my home church.  We’re going to have authentic FOOD, the BIG LION DANCE, and RED ENVELOPES for everyone.

You can help be a witness by bringing a friend to celebrate the God who is the source of all our blessings.


There’s always something happening in our community.  Stay updated with the Irvine South campus Events CALENDAR.  Also, follow our church on Facebook.

Till next time,

Pastor | Saddleback Church

Irvine South Campus

(949) 609-8766