MS 447 and The Lunar New Year

Teacher Nina Fan and student Yulu Brown reflect on what Lunar New Year means to them.
 Nina Fan:
The Many Feasts of the Lunar New Year.

On the eve of Lunar New Year, my entire family gets together and we usually have a reunion dinner at my brother’s house. This year we went to a restaurant for the reunion dinner. The New Year’s eve dinner always consists of the same dishes chosen because the names in Chinese are homonyms for luck, long life, and prosperity. We eat noodles, fish, vegetables, roast meats, rice and fruit. On top of that there are also many treats to snack on. Many of these treats were eaten centuries ago and are still eaten today. Some are tastier than others, but none are really as sweet as Western desserts.

On New Year’s Day this year, I went to my brother’s house for more food. He is the oldest sibling with the biggest house, so he generally hosts. There we had Hot Pot, which is actually a pot of flavored broth where you cook your food. There are dipping sauces and it’s a great way to celebrate with family. Hot Pot has been eaten for over a century and is traditionally eaten in winter because it’s cooked continuously over a fire and the house gets very warm and steamy. On New Year’s Day, it is also customary to have an all vegetarian meal too.
If I were celebrating the Lunar New Year in Asia, there would be many more celebrations. About 15 days of celebrations before everyone returns to work!
Lai See, Hong Bao, or Red Envelopes.
The best part of the Lunar New Year for children is receiving red envelopes from adults. Red envelopes are generally filled with money and sometimes candy and the more relatives you visit the more money you get! In Chinese culture, you’re considered a child until marriage; though with so many people getting married later and later in life this custom is going through a change. While I still receive red envelopes from my siblings, I also give to my parents because they are retired.
Yulu Brown. Class 802

Chinese New Year is a celebration of the new year according to the traditional lunisolar calendar. To celebrate the whole family normally comes together to eat food. The types of food that are eaten are fish, sausage links, soup, different vegetables. Each year has a different zodiac sign, this year is the year of the monkey. At the end of the celebration the kids get red envelopes containing money from their elders.