Lunar New Year


Heather Hughes

Level 3 Mandarin Chinese students working on their cards.

Brighton McDaniel, Senior Staff Writer

Lunar New Year is a festival that takes place in China to celebrate the beginning of the new year on a traditional lunisolar and solar Chinese calendar. Lunar New Year starts on January 31 and ends on February 6. People in China get seven days off of work for this celebration with many returning to their home villages to celebrate with family. 

Ms. Heather Hughes, the Mandarin Chinese teacher, introduces the Luna New Year to her students and the greater St. Joe community each year.

There are 12 zodiacs that repeat every 12 years. Each year is represented by an animal. This year’s animal is the year of the tiger,” Ms. Hughes said. 

Each year is represented by a certain animal that line up with what the zodiac signs are, that is why people say “it is the year off…” For example last year was the year of the rat, and the rat represented that year. 

Lunar New Year is known by other names such as, Spring Festival and Chinese New Year. The festival is full of color and people shoot off fireworks and firecrackers. Lots of parades take place during these 16 days and it is common to get new clothes and eat special food. Also during this celebration children receive a gift called a Hōng Bāo. A Hōng Bāo is a a red envolope which contains money. 

Junior Noelle Adamski, who is a level 3 Mandarin Chinese student, loves making the Lunar New Year cards. 

“It is so interesting and fun to decorate the cards, especially since the animal changes year to year. For example last year was the year of the rat and this year it is the year of the Tiger. The cards really make everything colorful,” Noelle said. 

The new year begins with the ringing of a bell at midnight signifying that it has begun. Other traditions include offering sacrifices to the ancestors, items such a fruit are considered offers to the ancestors and setting lanterns free.  

There is a lot that goes into Lunar New Year and this is just some of it. For more information you can look  Heather Hughes’s email that has links attached to it that explains more about what this holiday is. 

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