Chinese New Year: An Ecstatic Start to the New Year!


A dragon from the Chinese zodiac chart used during Chinese New Year.

Aneka Zamora, Reporter

During festive times, cultures all over the world have their own celebrations. Within these various cultures, Chinese New Year is one that is celebrated unlike other holidays. This holiday is not celebrated or well known around the world as much as other holidays, but it’s one of the biggest celebrations held in China.
Mr. Shao, a math teacher here at Selma High School, celebrates this holiday with his family.
Chinese New Year doesn’t have a constant date. It, changes every year. This year, the beginning of Chinese New Year will begin on January 22, 2023.
“It varies from year to year. For instance, last year it was on February 1, 2022,” stated Mr. Shao.
The name of this holiday is also referred to as the Spring Festival in East Asia, which relates to it being able to start anywhere from January 21 to February 20. As the name implies, it is a time to celebrate the near end of winter and beginning of spring. Chinese New Year also shares the name of Lunar New Year. The name for the holiday represents the Chinese calendar year. This calendar is based on the cycle of the moon or lunar, which is why it isn’t similar to a regular calendar because those are based on the sun. Chinese New Year’s celebration lasts up to 16 days, but only the first seven days are considered a public holiday.
With such a long celebration there are many traditions set throughout the 16 days. New clothes are bought to symbolize a fresh beginning and the ability to forget about the misfortunes of the last year. With new clothes, you are allowed to look forward to the new year.
Parades in the streets are filled with bright colors and gleeful people. In these parades there is the Lion Dance and firecrackers, which are supposed to warn off evil spirits with the bright colors and loud noises. There are festive foods for families and “luck money,” which is given to people to have a lucky start for the year. With luck money, children are supposed to go visit their grandparents two to three times a day for seven to ten days straight.
“My favorite tradition has to be getting lucky money. I mean you get adults giving you money two- three times a day for seven to ten days straight,” said Mr. Shao.
Living in a place where Chinese New Year isn’t celebrated by many is a troubled obstacle for Mr. Shao.
“It is not a holiday, so everyone still has to work the next day. The distance is also a big factor,” stated Mr. Shao.
Chinese New Year can be a difficult holiday to celebrate if you aren’t able to be in Asia because of all the challenges. However, celebrating Chinese New Year is something that is joyful and a holiday that Mr. Shao would never want to stop celebrating.