The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

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The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

Celebrating Lunar New Year with family and food favorites

Harristies+spoke+to+The+Classic+about+their+favorite+winter+meals.
Ella Quan
Harristies spoke to The Classic about their favorite winter meals.
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The 2024 season marks the year of the dragon and Harrisites spent the Lunar New Year with ancient traditions, family reunions, and various foods. Lunar New Year is an annual 15-day festival celebrated by a diaspora of communities that begins on the eve of the new moon, usually between late January and mid-February. 

One of the most notable traditions of Lunar New Year is handing out 紅包 (hóngbāo), a red envelope containing money. The red envelope is typically given to children from their relatives. Sophomore Finley Chin said, “We always say the traditional phrase ‘gong hei fat choy’ that means wishing prosperity and good fortune when celebrating.” 

Typically, people celebrate Lunar New Year with many friends and family by dining and engaging in a variety of activities. Junior Rina Chen said, “I celebrated this year with both my family and some of my extended family. My cousins from Florida and New Jersey visited. There was a lot of karaoke, and traditional Vietnamese and Chinese food that my grandma makes.” 

Sophomore Angela Lee visited Chinatown with her family to enjoy a dinner together with her family. “We ate steamed fish, dumplings, nian gao (steamed rice cake), tangyuan (sweet rice balls), and more. Essentially, it’s like a big feast or potluck that we do as a New Year’s tradition.”

Among the many traditional dishes found on Lunar New Year, a popular dish is hotpot, consisting mainly of a broth and various types of meat and vegetables varying among different cultures. Finley said “My family had rice and hot pot this year to celebrate. Occasionally, we switch it up, but it has always been the same since I was born.” 

Similarly, junior Chiara Chen said, “We cooked our own food together: hotpot with noodles, shrimp, various meats, and vegetables. We ate together and celebrated the New Year this way.” 

Many harrisites also decorated their houses with symbolic colors and emblems to celebrate cultural traditions. For example, freshman Harrison Zhu said, “I decorated my house with the year’s animal and colors, red and gold. I also went to China over the weekend to celebrate with my extended family back home, it was really fun.”

Rina, who decorated differently, said, “We decorated the house with yellow apricot blossoms to symbolize a new beginning with the hopes that the flower petals will grow.”

Reflecting on her New Year, Rina said, “It was really nice to reconnect and spend time together for the entire day: talking about fun memories, enjoying each other’s company, and just being together.”

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Amy Jiang, Art Editor
Amy is a senior at Townsend Harris High School. She enjoys trying out a variety of new hobbies. Recently, she has been trying to learn embroidery and rollerblading.
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