Junior Reflects on Lunar New Year Experiences

Andrea Melnik, News Editor

The Lunar New Year started Sunday, Jan. 22 this year and in the Chinese zodiac calendar, 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit.  

Lunar New Year is celebrated in many Asian countries, including South Korea, Vietnam, Tibet and China, where it is the most important festival. Each culture celebrates their own version of Lunar New Year, with their own name and traditions.  

The celebration is from the first day to the 15th day of the lunar calendar. The lunar year is based off the moon’s cycle, so its first day varies from Jan. 21 to Feb. 20 on the Gregorian calendar.  

In China, people are given seven days off work. Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival. Traditions include cleaning the house before New Years’ Day, having food as a family and celebrating on the 15th day with the Lantern Festival.  

Junior William Futch and his family celebrate Chinese New Year at a Chinese restaurant, with a lot of family and friends. They invite 10 to 12 people. 

“Then we just talk about the previous year and what goes into the new year, and usually there’s the exchange of red pockets with cash or money inside that you give to family members, and you just say something like ‘Xīnnián kuàilè’ which is ‘Happy New Year,’” Futch said.  

Futch’s grandparents and his mom are from China, from Hunan (his grandparents) and Guangzhou (his mom). Another part of his family is white, and Futch says that at the Chinese New Year celebrations, it’s interesting to see everyone come together.  

“Basically, it’s not only Chinese New Year, but we kind of celebrate New Year with my white side of the family and there’s, I guess there’s Asian food and there’s also white people food and then we just come together and there’s unity, and I think that’s really cool because it’s a mix of cultures and it shows who I am as a person,” Futch said.