By Emily Jiang ’18
Chinese New Year is when people celebrate the New Year with their family. People often have New Year’s dinner, receive money from close relatives and also give money. Chinese New Year occurs on a different date than New Years (January 1) because it follows a different calendar. Additionally, Chinese New Year lasts for approximately fifteen days in late January.
During Chinese New Year, you can see the Lion Dance which is often performed and believed to bring luck. Sometimes the Lion Dance is performed in stores to bring good luck so it could flourish with business. The store owner would then give a red envelope to the dancing lion as a thank you for the blessing. Red envelopes are also believed to bring luck and ward off spirits.
Setting off fireworks and firecrackers are also popular when the New Year begins.
Every family celebrates Chinese New Year differently, either eating at home with home-cooked meals or going out to eat. Lina Wu ‘18 said she enjoyed dimsum with the company of her family and she received gifts.
Jovita Lin ‘18 said, “My mom cooked a feast for the whole family to celebrate Chinese New Year.”
Heidi Chow ‘19 said, “ I celebrated by going to dinner with my family, my grandma cooked chicken, beef, pork, and other things.”
Another type of celebratory dinner is having a hot pot, where you put ingredients in a simmering metal pot with water or soup, and people grab food from the pot. Linda Chen ‘18 said her family gathered at her place to eat hotpot together as a family.
Cleaning the house is one of the traditions for Chinese New Year because it is a way to welcome the new year and say goodbye to the past year. Shopping is also popular due to money spent on decorations like red lanterns, ingredients for dinner and new clothes. Depending on the year, there will be decorations relating to the zodiac like the rooster, dragon, tiger, rabbit, snake, etc.
Superstitions are also a part of Chinese New Year. For example, washing your hair on the first day would mean washing away the good luck and breaking a piece of glass or bowl is not suggested since it may indicate money loss in the future or a family split. Washing clothes, crying, getting a haircut, lending and borrowing money are believed to be bad omens and should be avoided.
During this time of year, many people travel to visit their families. Chinese New Year is a celebration of a more prosperous and lucky year.