Asian Student Association Hosts Lunar New Year
By Yeats Ye
Lunar New Year, also known as Spring Festival in Chinese, is coming soon.
One of the biggest festivals celebrated in Asian countries, Lunar New Year is based on the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar and the exact date varies year to year.
There are 12 animal zodiacs representing each year, starting with rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. This year’s zodiac is monkey. People who were born in 1968, 1980, 1992 and 2004 are all “monkeys”.
Lunar New Year is Feb. 8th. Traditionally, people start celebrating it the night before. It’s a time to be with family while having a big reunion dinner and watching TV shows. There is one popular dish on everyone’s table: dumplings. People cherish what they have done in the past year and make wishes for the new year.
A popular activity is lighting firecrackers, which represents to sweep away bad luck and welcome the glorious year. Children often get red envelopes with money inside on New Year’s. People wear red clothes and display red paper-cuts and hang red lanterns. Red is an important color in their tradition.
According to tales and legends, there was always a mythical beast called, Nian, who would come on the first day of New Year’s to eat livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that Nian wouldn’t attack any more people after eating all the food prepared. One day a god visited the village and told people to put red paper in their house and to place firecrackers in front. The villagers then understood that Nian was afraid of the color red. When the New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to scare Nian away. From then on, Nian never came to the village again.
Celebrate Lunar New Year with Asian Students Association (ASA) at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 8th in Bishop Lounge. Traditional Chinese food will be served, along with interesting activities, like Chinese calligraphy. You don’t want to miss the excellent performances of Chinese flute and traditional dance.