The culture, food, and traditions behind Chinese New Year


Jai Dillon, Staff Writer

Chinese New Year is a special holiday celebrated by many people across the world.  This year, it falls on Friday, Feb. 12 and is the year of the ox.  The year of the ox occurs every 12 years; it signifies hard work, positivity, and honesty.

This Chinese New Year is going to be unlike any other due to COVID-19.  However, it will not stop the incredible celebrations of this festive holiday.  During Chinese New Year, people put up decorations and give red envelopes to each other, usually filled with money.

“You have a bunch of people come over, and each year you go to every family member’s house and get red envelopes filled with money,” said freshman Ashley Yee.

The money in the envelope symbolizes good luck for the person receiving it.  The red color represents  energy, happiness, and good luck.  During the Chinese New Year, people put up decorations with the specific animal of the year.  People believe the decorations ward off evil spirits.  Prayer is another important component of the holiday.  People pray for blessing, longevity, health, and peace.

“We bow to Buddha and say our prayers while holding incense,” said freshman Ashley Yee.

The Chinese New Year revolves around positive vibes and family.  But when there is a Chinese celebration, there has to be food.  The traditional foods symbolize different aspects of life.  For example, dumplings represent wealth and fish symbolizes an increase in prosperity.  During this holiday, every celebration has meaning behind it.

“I have fond memories of Chinese New Year.  I remember setting off

small fireworks with friends at the center of town,” said freshman Ian Lawrence.

When people think of Chinese New Year, the first thing that usually comes to mind is a dragon.  The dragon is considered a mythological creature in Chinese culture.  It is believed that the dragon scares off evil spirits.  During the ceremony, the dragon follows a ball on a stick, called a Pearl of Wisdom, leading the dragon towards knowledge and truth.

Overall, Chinese New Year is a time of high spirits as people welcome the new year.  The different foods and traditions, such as red envelopes and the ceremony of the dragon, make it a holiday everyone looks forward to.

“You just get together with your family and wish everyone a good year,” said freshman Zoe Szeto.