Wishing you happiness and prosperity
“Gong Xi Fa Cai!” “Gong Hey Fat Choy!” “Chuc Mung Nam Moi!” “새해 복 많이 받으십시오!” “Happy Chinese New Year!” Countries across Asia are getting ready to celebrate the year of the Dog on Feb 16, 2018! Chinese New Year is also known as Lunar New Year and the Spring Festival. It’s one of the most important traditional Chinese holidays. Lunar New Year is celebrated in countries where there is a significant Chinese population. Other than China, some of the other countries that take part in this tradition include Korea, Singapore, Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Vietnam. The United States is known to be the melting pot, which means the American people are from all over the world with different backgrounds, traditions, and cultures. Even though the Lunar New Year isn’t a national holiday here in the United States, Asian Americans across the nation still get ready to celebrate it. This includes some of our very own student body.
Senior Megan Walker, is one of the students at Imagine Prep that celebrates the Lunar New Year. Walker is half Chinese because of her mother and enjoys to celebrate this holiday every year.
On Chinese New Year, there are certain activities that people of Chinese descent do to prepare for the new year. Most of the things that are done are for the family’s ancestors and spirits to give them honor and recognition.
Walker described what her and her family specifically do on this special occasion.
“On Chinese New Year, my mom usually makes the food,” Walker said. “We do the whole red envelopes. You know they are always the best part because you are getting the money. Often times we go and celebrate with my mom’s friends who are also Chinese to celebrate the new year.”
In Chinese traditions, red envelopes hold great value and are often used during special gatherings like weddings and holidays. The color red, in China, is a symbol for good luck to ward off evil spirits. People would put money in the red envelopes and give it to family and friends to wish them a year full of fortune and happiness.
Sometimes Walker is lucky enough to travel to her mother’s hometown and get to experience activities that she wouldn’t normally do when she celebrates in the United States.
“We traveled to Taiwan a few times for it and that was definitely the best years to celebrate Chinese New Year,” Walker said. “We visited the temple and got to burn the incense, had a little fire going and burn the money to send them into the sky. Finally, we set out the food for my ancestors so that they can eat first.”
One of the traditional foods that are very important to consume on Lunar New Year are the dumplings. They are made of flour and stuffed with different types of fillings. Dumplings can be filled with meat, fish, vegetables, cheese, fruits, or sweets. The reason why the dumpling has great significance to this holiday is because the form of a dumpling resembles the shape of the “Yuanbao”, which was the type of money that was used during ancient times in China. The Chinese believe that eating the dumplings will bring wealth into their lives in the new year.
Chinese New Year is a time where everyone wishes each other a prosperous year full of contentment and good fortune. So don’t forget to recognize Chinese New Year this year on Feb 16! Eat some dumplings, spend some time with family, and most of all, wish each other good luck, good cheer, good health, and a happy new year!