Chinese new year celebrates year of tiger
Sunday, Feb. 14, some students will celebrate a holiday they hold near and dear to their culture. No, not Valentine’s Day – Chinese New Year. This upcoming year is the year of the tiger, and many Chinese students will celebrate with a feast and a phone call home.
Chinese New Year is regarded as one of the most important Chinese holidays. The celebration starts on the first day of the first month in the Chinese calendar and ends on the day of the Lantern Festival on the fifteenth.
A big feast marks the Eve of Chinese New Year, complete with traditional Chinese dishes. The next day children receive money from their parents and everybody wishes each other good health in the New Year.
However, Chinese New Year is not all about food and cash.
“The first day of Chinese New Year is a time when families visit the oldest and senior members of their extended
family, usually their parents, grandparents or great-grandparents,” said Yang Jie, a senior accounting major and member of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association.
Not everyone follows the same traditions for Chinese New Year. In northern China, families eat dumplings after dinner, while in southern China they eat rice cakes. Dumplings symbolize wealth, and rice cakes symbolize a prosperous year.
“What we usually do is get the whole family together and prepare a delicious dinner,” said Emily Liu, a graduate chemical engineering student. “I always like the famous dumplings.”
Some rituals go beyond food and gift giving and can include dances to ward off bad entities.
“Some communities may invite a lion dance troupe as a symbolic ritual to usher in the Lunar New Year, as well as to evict bad spirits from the premises,” Jie said.
The Chinese Students and Scholars Associations will be celebrating the holiday with a feast at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 13 in Rudder Theater.
“It is a great opportunity for A&M’s Chinese to know each other and for other people to learn about Chinese culture,” Jie said. “People will get together and celebrate the year of the tiger.”
Students at the University of Texas at Austin are having a celebration similar to that at A&M. UT sophomore psychology major Sean Wen said he will be calling family back in Taiwan.
“I am really looking forward to talking to family that I don’t get a chance to see over there,” Wen said. “I think we are having a dinner in Austin around then to celebrate.”
In the new year there is now a regular on the popular modern society do. Traditionally red packets are also handed out to younger generation by their parents, grand parents, relatives, and even close neighbors and friends during Chinese New Year. Nowadays giving red packets as a bonus at the year-end by employers becomes popular and Chinese new year parcel is also a tradition of giving to business associates or relatives.
Giving Chinese new year parcel to employees prior to the New Year is also a good idea. This can be either a gift or a bonus. If it is as a gift, the money should be just right for a gift. If as a bonus, you may enclose a check in the parcel gift and hand it out in an office.