新年快樂 (xin nian kuai le), or happy Lunar New Year! It is that time of the year, Lunar New Year, where families practice forgiveness and come together for a feast. This year will be the Year of the Monkey.
With many cultures, traditions, customs, and legends, there are many superstitions and beliefs that arise. Superstitions prevent people from washing anything, cleaning the house, and arguing with family members.
Junior Aaron Ly explained what his family does for Lunar New Year.
“All we do during Chinese New Year is pour tea into a cup and give it to a married couple with two hands and you say some graceful words to them and in return they give you a red envelope,” Ly said. “The most exciting part about Lunar New Year is receiving red envelopes from uncles, aunts, parents, and grandparents.”
The red envelopes contain money and symbolize luck.
Lunar New Year also serves as a time for storytelling. The most famous legend is the story of “Nian,” a half-dragon and half-lion monster who came to attack everyone, mostly children. Red envelopes, firecrackers, and lion dancers are some of the many symbols during Lunar New Year.
Freshman Yayi Hong explained how her family celebrates Lunar New Year and what she likes about the holiday.
“We just go to a family gathering party and celebrate and pray,” Hong said. “Family is the most important thing about celebrating Lunar New Year, since without them it would not really be that much fun to celebrate it, and the most exciting part about celebrating my Lunar New Year is watching the parades since it’s fun and interesting.”
With the holiday being based on the Chinese calendar, culture is a huge aspect of Lunar New Year. When celebrating Lunar New Year, many traditions and customs are followed according to varied cultures.
“The most important thing would be celebrating my family’s culture with them,” sophomore Chapman Hui said.
Lunar New Year is usually a celebration with the extended family and a time to forget all about the mishaps in the previous year. The day to start off the new year is celebrated by not only the Chinese, but also the Koreans, Vietnamese, and other Asian ethnicities. With the celebration starting on Feb. 8, festivals, parades, and feasts with families are planned in advance.