Saint Valentine's Day and Lunar New Year, observed by many Asians. I'm sorry I had no way to wangle an invitation to the local Vietnamese social center for their Tet celebration. I went one year acting qua reporter but ate the great food qua guy who likes to eat great food. About a week ago, I was in a little Asian market in Rockport buying coconut milk and like that and the proprietor showed me a stack of little red envelopes, said she was selling a bunch of them because of the coincidence of New Year and Valentine's Day. On Lunar New Year, you're supposed to give gifts of money and gifts of money are supposed to come in red envelopes.
The best little gig I ever had was writing restaurant reviews for Third Coast mag in Austin. They gave us 150 bucks a month and expected about five reviews per month. We were expected to pay for the meals out of the $150. One year, we all got an invite to go to a big Chinese restaurant for the Lunar New Year celebrations. It was some fantastic food and a chance to get a little peek at someone else's world for a couple of hours. Lots of red envelopes passed out to the employees.