Lunar New Year Celebrations from Around the World

Over 1.5 billion people (1/6 of the world’s population) celebrate the Lunar New Year. It is also known as Spring Festival. Because this holiday is based on the cycle of the moon, the date changes from year to year. This year it falls on Friday, February 12 and 2021 is the year of the Ox. According to the Chinese zodiac, the Ox is said to represent physical strength, hard work, positivity, and honesty. Many different traditions are celebrated around the world. Below are some colorful highlights.


Hanoi’s beautiful Hoan Keim Lake is usually a peaceful and quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of the historic city center. However, at midnight on the morning of the Lunar New Year, known as Tet in Vietnam, the lake is crowded with tens of thousands of revelers. They gather around the lake every year to celebrate the arrival of the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display that can be seen from all over the city.


Los Angeles and New York City have been hosting spectacular Lunar New Year parades for decades. While each city has its own unique traditions, the tens to hundreds of thousands of spectators who attend each year can expect to see marching bands, colorful costumes, impressive floats, dancers (including lion and dragon dances), dynamic performers, and even some celebrity participants.


Asian-Canadians make up almost half of Vancouver’s population. Needless to say, celebrating Lunar New Year is a big deal here. There are a number of events that take place all over the city, but Vancouver’s Chinatown is the location of the annual Spring Festival. It’s a cultural extravaganza that is not to be missed and includes a parade, special performances, martial arts demonstrations, and a Chinese New Year banquet.


Singapore’s residents represent many different ethnicities – Chinese, Malays, Indians, Eurasians and many others. The Chingay Parade, which is held during the second week of the Lunar New Year features vibrant performers in elaborates costumes from different ethnicity, cultures and backgrounds; dazzling display of floats; and huge intricate props and structures and cultural performances from all around the world. Chingay is one of Asia’s largest street performances and float parades.


Known as Seollal in Korea, the Lunar New Year is one of the most significant holidays of the year. It is a time for families to come together to honor their ancestors by holding memorial ceremonies. Many of these ceremonies are focused on celebrating traditional customs involving food, clothing, and games. One popular game is called Neolttwigi. It is similar to a game of seesaw, except that participants stand on each end of the neol and jump, propelling the opposite person into the air. Over the years it has evolved into a dazzling acrobatic performance, delighting many spectators.


Organized by the Chinese Embassy in Buenos Aires and the local government, rowing teams compete on the Rio de la Plata River in colorful, wooden dragon boats. Dragon boats are traditional row boats that originated from the Pearl River Delta region of China’s southern Guangdong Province. Each boat holds a team of 22.


Usually marking the final day of the traditional Chinese New Year celebration is the Lantern Festival. During the festival, people decorate their homes with colorful paper lanterns, some of which have riddles written on them or attached to the lantern. People, especially children, gather around the lanterns and try to solve the riddles. When they have an answer, the lantern owner typically rewards them with a small prize.



Connecting You to Our Global Referral Network

Sotheby’s International Realty has a comprehensive Referral Network that includes over 1000 offices and 23,000 sales associates worldwide. More than just points on a map, the Sotheby’s International Realty network of connected offices work closely with one another on a daily basis, uniting buyers with properties our brand represents in the world’s most desired locations.

Situated in the first-class Minorca community in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, this 2 bedroom/2 bath home is fully furnished with an updated kitchen and excellent amenities. All you need to bring is your suitcase.

When Cincinnati-area clients asked their local Robinson Sotheby’s International Realty agent, Connie Greene, to assist in selling their lovely Florida condominium home, Connie didn’t hesitate to refer them to an associate with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty in New Smyrna Beach, Florida who listed the property for them. By utilizing the Sotheby’s International Realty Referral Network, Connie knew that she could help her clients get the same excellent representation in Florida that they are accustomed to getting from her in the Cincinnati area.

When a home is represented by the Sotheby’s® International Realty brand, it is presented to a highly-qualified global clientele through exclusive channels and relationships. The white glove experience each office in our network delivers makes us a globally sought resource for luxury real estate services. Worldwide dedication to a high set of standards lets our customers know they can expect the same extraordinary experience, whether they’re working with us in Greater Cincinnati, or with one of our Sotheby’s International Realty agents in Florida, Michigan, South Carolina, Colorado, or beyond.

Aseriaru, Estonia: A Modern Marvel Shines in the Baltics

This stunning architectural original is surrounded by Estonia’s untouched beauty.

We partner with over 1000 Sotheby’s real estate offices in 71 countries. Each month we showcase a home from one of these partners. Our feature home this month is located in Aseriaru, Estonia.

Estonia ranks among the world’s greenest countries and is a dreamland for nature lovers. Many species of birds and other animals that are virtually extinct in other parts of Europe can be seen in Estonia, including in the village of Aseriaru. Located on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland, Aseriaru’s pristine forests, marshlands, and shoreline have left spacious natural habitats to support wildlife. Urban adventure and exploration is surprisingly close to Aseriaru; Helsinki can be reached by car and ferry in 5 hours and St. Pertersburg, Russia is only a 3-hour drive to the east.

This seafront architectural wonder in Aseriaru is a contemporary statement on Estonia’s eco-consciousness. Built in accordance with the surrounding land in a natural setting, this spectacular home also features an eco-friendly, maintenance-free green roof.

Inside and out, this home impresses with dramatic sea-views. Stunning floor to ceiling glass walls provide dynamic views from literally every room.

The spacious four-bedroom home was custom-designed by renowned Estonian architectural group SALTO AB and offers abundant natural daylight, straight access to the Gulf of Finland, and unparalleled privacy.

Magnificent outdoors spaces are well-designed to take full advantage of the blissful waterfront setting. The entrance to the house is on a gated, private road for added serenity. Connection with Estonian capital, Tallinn, is provided by well-maintained large roads and is only a 1-1/2 hour drive.

This is the ideal retreat for those seeking a tranquil, yet sophisticated escape with the added convenience of two world-class cities within a few hours’ reach. Listed for $830,990.

For additional information and to see all the property photographs, click here. You may also contact us by email at or phone at 513.321.6000. We will be glad to guide you.

Get On Board! The Well-Adored Charcuterie Board Picks Up More Steam

Have you exhausted all your favorite recipes? Do you have recurring nightmares about washing, peeling, and chopping produce? Reached the end of the line with take-out from the same restaurants? For those suffering from cooking and take-out fatigue, the charcuterie board is just the ticket to get you on a new track.

The charcuterie board is extremely versatile and fully customizable. You can make it as big or as little as you want. You get to decide exactly what to include, or not to include. Not everyone has to eat the same thing. Like a miniature cafeteria, people can help themselves to whatever they like. Boards are fun, engaging, and different and can make even and ordinary occasion feel special. Boards are also visually appetizing. A well composed charcuterie board can truly be a work of art. Best of all, no cooking required.


For an intimate, romantic date night dinner, assemble a small board for two and pair it with a rustic red wine. Think decadent cured meats and gourmet cheeses – foods that are silky, luscious, and melt in your mouth. Prosciutto, salami, pate, a nice duo or trio of contrasting cheeses, dried and fresh fruits, and warmed olives.


Nothing is out of bounds when it comes to assembling a charcuterie board for a Super Bowl party. The goal here is to please your guests. You will score points if you include some of their favorite foods. If your guests are big fans of dessert, consider making a separate dessert board.


The charcuterie board provides the perfect opportunity to combine some of your kids’ favorite foods with some new items you’d like them to try. It’s far less intimidating to sample unfamiliar foods when you only have to eat one instead of being presenting with a whole serving.


Photo by Basil and Bubbly

Smoked meats and cheeses make excellent food pairings for bourbon. They complement the smoky flavor that’s imparted in the bourbon from the charred oak barrels. Dark chocolate and bourbon candied pecans are the perfect sweet components for a bourbon tasting. Be sure to include palate cleansers on your board. Plain crackers and light fruits are good choices.

January 2021: The Home Front Real Estate Market Report

Neighborhoods with the best percentage of sales to active listings (only neighborhoods with at least 20 combined actives and solds are included):
  1. MT WASHINGTON  //  27 sold with 3 active // 900%
  2. SHARONVILLE  //  17 sold with 3 active //  566%
  3. LOVELAND  //  21 sold with 6 active //  350%

Compiled from information from the Multiple Listing Service of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky for the period 12/1/2020 through 12/31/2020.

Suburb# Sold# ActiveAvg $ ListAvg $ SaleDays on Mkt.
Amberly Village82488,680457,00031
Blue Ash3025478,609381,55633
Columbia Tusculum930575,401362,46859
Crestview Hills610497,760210,05028
Dayton, KY1311161,409208,23034
Deer Park103193,585181,64022
Deerfield Twp4647551,354360,73564
East End235830,209205,000235
Fort Mitchell810413,740333,92512
Fort Thomas2233605,810307,82617
Fort Wright77290,385231,71413
Hyde Park2031549,355529,10053
Indian Hill6201,921,8591,521,667142
Kennedy Heights138198,805191,83841
Lakeside Park22332,000194,9002
Liberty Township6054459,563375,73958
Madison Place40222,400240,88818
Miami Township3317236,915230,99822
Mt. Adams016891,80000
Mt. Auburn511320,175331,34079
Mt. Lookout1014676,583561,04055
Mt. Washington273222,847195,79517
Park Hills56370,400321,30014
Pierce Township2010342,151286,62031
Pleasant Ridge147244,148250,13428
South Lebanon96337,474356,18034
Sycamore Twshp.1612340,811252,80634
Symmes Twshp.1618606,047418,75462
Terrace Park54883,989755,60075
Villa Hills313806,538426,50012
Walnut Hills1733410,716378,08260
West Chester8737350,346289,11531
Western Hills3115250,913208,13747

Ohio's Clifton Mill Makes National Lists for Best Holiday Light Display

There are dozens of well-known destinations around the world that attract visitors to their incredible holiday lights, decorations, and displays. Some are more famous than others, but one lesser-known place has been getting a lot of well-deserved attention lately and it happens to be very close to Cincinnati. The Clifton Mill in Clifton, Ohio has been recognized for many years as a top spot for viewing holiday lights by regional publications like Midwest Living and Ohio Magazine. However,  Clifton Mill has recently made the following national lists: House Beautiful (2020), Country Living (2020), and Travel + Leisure (2019).
For 32 years Clifton Mill has celebrated the Christmas season in a very special way. Their light display is one of the country’s finest with over 4 million lights. It is truly a mesmerizing, spectacular display with the mill, the gorge, its riverbanks, trees, and bridges all illuminated. There is even a 100 foot “waterfall” of twinkling lights. The flip of one switch turns all the lights on at once transforming the night into a fantastical winter wonderland which includes a Miniature Village, a Santa Claus Museum , a Toy Collection and a spectacular synchronized lights and music show that features the old Covered Bridge.

Every night through December 23, you can peek into Santa’s Workshop to see a live Santa at work and then, every 15 minutes or so, watch him check his list and go up the chimney to load his sleigh. The fantastic light display will be operating every night from 6 to 9 PM until December 30. On December 24 – 25, from 6 to 8 PM. Gates open at 5 PM.
Clifton Mill is less than 75 miles from downtown Cincinnati. For directions, click here. If you go, please be aware that Clifton Mill is taking enhanced health and safety measures for their guests. Below are a few things they ask to keep your visit safe and enjoyable.

  • Limited Capacity – crowds will be held at 25% – there may be longer lines
  • Masks are Mandatory – no exception – social distancing is highly encouraged
  • No Inside Restrooms
  • No Inside Dining – a food truck will be outside for hot chocolate & snacks
  • Follow state health department guidelines if you are feeling under the weather

Click here to visit Clifton Mill’s website.

Our Commitment to Community

On December 9, Robinson Sotheby’s International Realty made a $3,500 donation to the Freestore Foodbank in Cincinnati on behalf of all our agents and staff. December 9 was Freestore Foodbank’s Double Dollar Day so our donation will have a greater impact on the critical services they provide to our community.
Like many others, we made the difficult decision this year to cancel our annual holiday party due to the risk associated with large indoor gatherings. Even though gathering in-person to celebrate the holidays wasn’t a possibility for us, it was important that we come together in some other meaningful and memorable way. We invited our agents and staff to get involved in choosing the charity that would receive our donation.
Using a democratic, collaborative process, we asked our agents and staff to nominate a local charity. All nominees were included on our official ballot and everyone at Robinson Sotheby’s International Realty had the opportunity to vote. On December 1, the ballots were counted and Freestore Foodbank, with the most votes, was selected.
Our company plans to continue supporting Freestore in 2021 through a variety of ways including volunteering, hosting food drives, and sponsoring events or programs. We look forward to sharing more stories of our commitment to community with you next year. Until then, wishing you a safe and happy holiday season and a wonderful new year.

Holiday Cheers from around the World

If you’re looking for a new recipe to mix up some holiday cheer, below is a collection of 8 traditional holiday cocktails from around the world. Cheers!
Mexico: Ponche Navideno

Ponche de Navideno cocktail, Mexican Christmas warm beverage with sugar cane and fruit, hot sweet liquor wine drink.

This traditional fruit punch is served warm and is made with a combination of fresh and dried fruits. Ponche is typically served in Mexico on Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) and during the posadas, the 9 days of celebration prior to Christmas Day.
16 cups water
6 guavas, peeled and quartered
3 large red apples, cut into chunks
2 pears, cut into chunks
1 orange, sliced
1 pilloncillo cone (or 1 cup of dark brown sugar if you can’t find piloncillo)
6 whole cloves
4 cinnamon sticks
2 tablespoons dried hibiscus flowers
1 dried tamarind pod, husked and seeded

  • Place all ingredients in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
  • Mix together and make sure the piloncillo/sugar has completely dissolved. Serve hot in mugs with a splash of rum or brandy if desired. Make sure each cup has some fruit it in – it’s the best part!

England: Wassail

Wassail is a delightfully boozy hard cider infused with aromatic spices, notes of ginger, cinnamon, and cloves for a simple and warming wintertime drink.

Wassail comes from the Anglo-Saxon phrase ‘waes hael’, which means ‘good health’.  Wassail was traditionally served in wintertime, and specifically during the yuletide season that spans from Christmas Eve through Twelfth Night.
8 cups sweet apple cider
2 cups orange juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 whole cinnamon sticks
12 whole cloves or 1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • Combine all ingredients in a large pan.
  • Bring to simmer over medium-low heat. Reduce heat and continue simmering for 45 minutes. Ladle into cups or mugs and enjoy!

Brazil: Strawberry Caipirinha

Traditional Brazilian alcoholic cocktail, strawberry caipirinha with Cachaca, sugar syrup, lime, mint, strawberries and crushed ice.

Based on the traditional caparhinia, this strawberry version adds a festive red color, not to mention the delicious berry flavor.
2 oz Cachaca (liquor distilled from fermented sugarcane juice)
1/2 ounce simple syrup
3 wedges of lime
3 strawberrries, sliced
1 sprig of mint
1 scoop (5-6 oz) of crushed ice

  • Muddle lime wedges and strawberries together in a mixing glass.
  • Add ice, simple syrup, and Cachaca to mixer. Shake well.
  • Pour everything into an Old fashioned glass and garnish with strawberry slice and mint sprig.

France: Kir Royale

The Kir Royale is a champagne cocktail popular in France, especially during the holidays.

One of the more refreshing cocktails on this list of holiday favorites is the Kir Royale from France. There are many variations of this bubbly beverage, but the one ingredient that makes it a genuine Kir Royale is the champagne.
Ingredients for an Easy Raspberry Kir Royale
5 raspberries plus more for garnish
1-1/2 ounces Chambord

  • Add the raspberries and Chambord to a champagne flute. Use a spoon to smash the raspberries. Top the glass with Champagne and garnish with a couple of raspberries.

Chile: Cola de Mono

The traditional  Cola de Mono is a creamy creation made with evaporated milk and Chilean aguardiente, a sugarcane liquor similar to rum, but stronger and not as sweet.

Chile is well-known for its wines, but during the holiday season it’s the Cola de Mono that Chileans reach for.
1 can (12 fluid ounces) evaporated milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar or to taste
3 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch ground nutmeg
1 cup Chilean aguardiente (or substitute white rum, brandy or vodka)

  • Combine evaporated milk, water, sugar, cloves and cinnamon stick in medium saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Add coffee granules; stir to dissolve. Add vanilla extract and nutmeg. Remove from heat. Cool 20 minutes. Remove cloves and cinnamon stick. Add brandy. Pour into empty bottle. Refrigerate until chilled, about 4 hours.
  • Serve in aperitif glasses for a 2-ounce serving. Garnish with cinnamon stick.

Germany: Gluhwein

Gluhwein is a fragrant mulled wine served warm, making it the perfect beverage for both Christmas and New Year’s.

Gluhwein is commonly served at Christmas markets in Germany and Austria. The Nordic countries have their own version called glögg or sometimes spelled glog or glug.
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 orange
10 whole cloves
1 bottle (750 ml) red wine

  • In a saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer.
  • Cut the orange in half, and squeeze the juice into the simmering water. Push the cloves into the outside of the orange peel, and place peel in the simmering water. Continue simmering for 30 minutes, until thick and syrupy.
  • Pour in the wine, and heat until steaming but not simmering. Remove the clove-studded orange halves. Serve hot in mugs or glasses that have been preheated in warm water (cold glasses will break.)

The United States: Eggnog

Eggnog with cinnamon, nutmeg, and especially bourbon is a classic American holiday cocktail.

American’s eggnog tradition began with humble beginnings. Early settlers did not have sherry, the liquor typically used in British eggnog. So they added homemade spirits, or moonshine. Later, when bourbon became readily available, it became the preferred liquor for eggnog.
2 eggs, separated
1/4 cup sugar, divided
4 ounces rum, bourbon or brandy
10 ounces whole milk
4 ounces heavy cream
grated nutmeg for garnish

  • In a large bowl, beat together egg yolks and sugar until fluffy.
  • Stir in milk, heavy cream and spirit of choice.
  •  In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
  •  Fold egg whites into yolk mixture.
  •  Serve in a rocks glass, punch or tea cup.
  •  Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Jamaica: Sorrel

Sorrel is the star of this traditional Jamaican cocktail, most commonly served during the Christmas holiday season.

There are countless variations and recipes for this Jamaican holiday classic, but the one ingredient you will find in every sorrel is its namesake: Jamaican sorrel. Jamaican sorrel is in the same family as the hibiscus flower. The sorrel plant has deep fuchsia flowers which gives this cocktail its signature color.
2 quarts water
6 ounces dried sorrel buds
4 ounces fresh ginger, thinly sliced
ice cubes
simple syrup to taste
2 ounces fresh lime juice
4 ounces rum (151 proof recommended)

  • Bring the water to a boil, remove from the heat, and add the sorrel and ginger. Let steep about 45 minutes, strain.
  • Add ice cubes to a shaker. For 2 servings, add to the shaker about 2 or 3 ounces strained juice, 2 ounces simple syrup, a splash of lime juice, and a jigger of rum. Shake well and pour.

A Former School in San Miguel de Allende Scores High Marks

A variety of enchanting outdoor spaces, including private balconies, courtyards, and a grand rooftop terrace, offer abundant opportunities to enjoy San Miguel de Allende’s glorious weather all year long.

We partner with over 1000 Sotheby’s real estate offices in 71 countries. Each month we showcase a home from one of these partners. Our feature home this month is located in sunny San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
San Miguel de Allende is located in the cool central highlands of Mexico about 150 miles north of Mexico City. This UNESCO World Heritage city has always been well-regarding by art and architecture fans for its dazzling display of well-preserved Baroque buildings, vibrant arts scene, and cultural festivals. With its welcoming hospitality, enchanting setting, and temperate climate, it’s easy to see why San Miguel de Allende has made Travel + Leisure Best City in the World list four years in a row, from 2017 to 2020. The city also attracts a significant amount of expats who make up about 10% of San Miguel’s population.
Casa Escuela Bilingue (The Bilingual School House) is an elegant, yet comfortable home ideally located in the popular Centro area. Formerly a bilingual school, it was later transformed into a captivating private residence. Most recently, a total renovation and remodel was completed. The stunning result is reminiscent of an upscale boutique hotel with the historic charm of Old Colonial Mexico.

As you enter the gates of Casa Escuela Bilingue, you are welcomed to this beguiling retreat by a beautiful fountain, flowering plants and trees, and a stunning covered outdoor living room with stone fireplace. This outdoor sala is ideal for a quiet read or lively entertaining with friends and family.

Comfortable, tasteful, professionally-designed interiors feature a gracious, open living room and dining area and a stunning, fully-equipped kitchen with high-end appliances.

No detail in architecture or style was overlooked, including custom furniture, 5 gas fireplaces, and all new plumbing and electrical throughout.

In addition to ample outdoor living space on the ground floor, Casa Escuela Bilingue has a private terrace and bedroom balconies on the 2nd level, plus a large rooftop terrace with dining and separate seating area, and two fire pits.

Three large main bedrooms with elegant en-suite bathrooms provide you and your guests ample privacy and personal space.

You will be hard pressed to find a home that so perfectly combines such a fabulous location, terrific amenities, well-designed spaces, and top-of-the-line everything. Listed for $1,079,000.
For additional information and to see all the property photographs, click here. You may also contact us by email at or phone at 513.321.6000. We will be glad to guide you.

November 2020: The Home Front Real Estate Market Report

Neighborhoods with the best percentage of sales to active listings (only neighborhoods with at least 20 combined actives and solds are included):
  1. WEST CHESTER  //  44 sold with 6 active // 733%
  2. SHARONVILLE  //  23 sold with 6 active //  383%
  3. LOVELAND  //  33 sold with 18 active //  183%

Compiled from information from the Multiple Listing Service of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky for the period 10/1/2020 through 10/31/2020.

Suburb# Sold# ActiveAvg $ ListAvg $ SaleDays on Mkt.
Amberly Village73582,070447,08676
Blue Ash2631501,567413,898122
Columbia Tusculum821529,055334,17549
Crestview Hills314532,814195,66624
Dayton, KY610144,160170,95012
Deer Park116188,022187,86412
Deerfield Twp5753510,314337,53462
East End938737,326518,611153
Fort Mitchell914517,271353,33338
Fort Thomas2835587,452279,92713
Fort Wright98248,075249,88818
Hyde Park3034557,338442,43135
Indian Hill11241,850,1981,799,277165
Kennedy Heights612206,672158,15013
Lakeside Park35407,840313,50013
Liberty Township6572455,115380,63257
Madison Place40188,725191,1003
Miami Township5458472,468339,76177
Mt. Adams420832,275829,956133
Mt. Auburn1023299,436231,75362
Mt. Lookout1616634,526512,00849
Mt. Washington2414224,300212,30413
Park Hills56322,283294,0008
Pierce Township2016282,900233,35031
Pleasant Ridge911244,810201,914101
South Lebanon138319,992298,80324
Sycamore Twshp.1418366,919334,19317
Symmes Twshp.1735539,277417,48238
Terrace Park67787,992559,50057
Villa Hills1014821,650350,48864
Walnut Hills1144453,230514,35564
West Chester446192,576193,44216
Western Hills2824273,088203,71836