Ashley Dang

This is the year of the tiger! Many families who celebrate Lunar New Year hope to bring good fortune and luck for the new year!

Ava Flaute, Designer

For many the new year is celebrated by many on Jan.1st, but that is not true for all. On Feb. 1st, 2022, the beginning of a new year was symbolized by the Chinese New Year. This annual holiday is celebrated by many East and South Asian cultures. Each Chinese New Year is represented with an animal or zodiac; 2022 it is celebrated with the symbol of a tiger. According to Chinese zodiac culture, those that are born in 2022, or the year of the tiger, are said to be natural leaders, strong, assertive, and brave. However, they are also said to be aggressive, arrogant, and slightly egotistic. These cultural predictions usually determine how the children born in the new year will behave and act throughout their life.

As stated above, the festival celebrates the beginning of the new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. Chinese New Year is tied to the lunar calendar which means each year is based on the monthly cycles of the phases of the moon. This explains why Chinese New Year is frequently referred to as the Lunar new year. It marks the beginning of spring and a new year. The celebrations are determined by the phases of the moon. It typically begins during the second new moon after the winter solstice. This means that each year the Chinese New Year will fall on a different date. In 2022, it falls on February 1st. Chinese New Year is typically celebrated by other countries including, but not limited to, China, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan.

When it comes time to celebrate, many people put up decorations and offer sacrifices. Most people celebrate this holiday with their immediate family members or eat reunion dinners with distanced family members. People also often give red envelopes with cash to family members to allow them to start off the new year well. The traditional Chinese New Year envelope is red because it’s believed that the color red brings wealth to family and friends in the new year. Other people may even celebrate Chinese New Year by watching a traditional dance or a firework show. Firecrackers are made from rolled red paper and gunpowder and used as part of the festivities. Also, the noise from the firecracker is believed to scare off the bad vibes or bad spirits in the new year. 

Seminole High School Junior Flordelee Pino states “Each year I look forward to Chinese New Year as my family and other close relatives come together to set off fireworks, feast, and play fun games. I see this holiday as a fresh start to the year and a clean slate to get rid of all negative fortunes.”

These are just some of the ways this holiday is traditionally celebrated; however, each family has its own traditions and ways of celebrating the Chinese new year. 

SHS student Rayna Haque shares “Although personally, I do not celebrate Chinese New Year, one of my closest friends celebrates the holiday. Traditionally, she helps clean her house the day of and then later has a celebration with her family and other friends where they exchange envelopes and eat yummy food. I enjoy attending and seeing the diverse cultures that are celebrated and recognized.”

Cleaning is amongst the many traditions shared above. It is said to be a custom to clean your house at the start of Chinese New Year, as it is symbolic to sweep away any ill fortune and to make way for good luck. 

Overall, Chinese New Year is an incredibly unique and popular tradition shared by many. Families come together to celebrate the beginning of the new year, hoping to bring good luck and fortune their way.