Celebrating Lunar New Year during a pandemic

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CHAMPAIGN-URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Lunar New Year is upon us. It’s a bit like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the fourth of July rolled into one, but COVID-19 has changed things this year.

Normally, people across the nation head back to their hometowns to re-unite with relatives for a week of special activities, But this year, some celebrations are online.

Un Yeong Park works at the University of Illinois. Each Lunar New Year, he goes back to his hometown of South Korea.

It is normally a vibrant celebration full of family, traditional food, and games, but this year, Park and many families across the nation will spend it virtually.

He says his favorite part of the celebration is just being with his loved ones.

“I want to give a big hug to my family members. They may miss me, I miss them. So, that’s why this years Lunar New Year is very special. It is a little painful, but special,” he says.

The U of I has some virtual events as well. Students can get a free activity bag and a red envelope craft.

Park told me what he misses most though is his mother’s food and cooking. He says to wish those celebrating – a Happy Lunar New Year.

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