Harrisites Celebrate Lunar New Year


Andy Chen

Harrisites share how they celebrated Lunar New Year.

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To welcome the Year of the Rabbit in Chinese culture, many Harrisites celebrated Lunar New Year with new traditions and old customs. Lunar New Year, also called Spring Festival, is an annual holiday celebrated by various cultures around the world that commemorates the first day of the lunar or lunisolar calendar, usually observed in late January or early February. 

Many who celebrate Lunar New Year are familiar with the tradition of a family dinner the night before. Junior Jie Xuan Tang said he spends the evening with his family watching “春晚 (chūn wăn), the annual Lunar New Year Gala.” Junior Evan Diep, who does something similar, said, “I’ve celebrated by going out to eat with my extended family.” 

In addition to the dinner, others wear special clothing or accessories as a way of respecting old customs and displaying their superstitions. The holiday is often associated with the auspicious colors of red and gold, symbolizing happiness and gold fortune. “My favorite tradition is having to wear full red the day of,” sophomore Jacky Chan said. 

Others resonate with different traditions. Senior Leo Zhang said his annual tradition is “setting up a table full of offerings, from fruits to snacks to wine, and one by one, bowing down and praying for anything good we want to happen for that year.” Leo enjoys this tradition because it encourages him to reflect on his goals for the upcoming year.  

For many children, the excitement of the Lunar New Year often comes from collecting money gifted by their family members and friends. “On Lunar New Year, those of younger generations have to 拜年 (bài nián), which is wishing good luck and prospects, to the elders,” Jie Xuan said, “[and in return] the elders give the younger generations 红包 (hóng bāo), red envelopes.” 

Freshman Vicky Li said her favorite part of Lunar New Year is “receiving red envelopes” aside from her normal tradition of “going out to eat, watching the dragon dance and setting fireworks.” Sharing a similar sentiment, senior Gary Yang enjoys the custom as he attends “multiple parties while collecting both red envelopes and eating traditional food.” 

Reflecting on his understanding of the holiday, junior Vincent Wynntar-oo said, “it’s a chance to reset your dues and cleanse your mindset.” Similarly, Vicky said it is a “fresh start to be better in the new year.” 

Centering around family, Jie Xuan said, “No matter where everybody is, they come back home together to unite and celebrate Lunar New Year.”