We asked David Chin, Tutor.com’s Project Manager to tell us a little bit about Chinese New Year and how he used to celebrate as a child growing up in NYC.
Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in the Chinese calendar. It is a time to buy decorations, food and new clothing. Traditionally, every family cleans their house which symbolically represents sweeping away bad luck in order to make way for any good luck the new year provides. It is also a time for family and feasting.
As teenager in NYC, I celebrated by participating in the annual Chinese New Year parade in Chinatown. I belonged to a youth community organization and performed the traditional lion dance with them each year.
Most teens typically descend into Chinatown to watch the parades and to celebrate with fireworks. The biggest draw Chinese New Year has on a kid/teen is the expectation to receive many lucky red envelopes, as they’re filled with money. So, basically it’s party on with free cash!
As a dad of three kids, I’m happy to continue on with these traditions pretty much the same way I always have: traditional family dinners, participating in the parade, and when my kids get old enough, teaching them the traditional lion dance, etc., so that they can carry on the tradition.
Quick Facts about Chinese New Year
- This is the year of the rabbit, according to the traditional Chinese lunar calendar. People born in the year of the rabbit are believed to be moderate, kind, happy and have great taste. Rabbits are also cautious and somewhat mysterious. People born in the years of 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999 and 2011 are all rabbits.
- Fireworks, firecrackers and loud noises are a part of the celebration! This is to ward off evil spirits and attract the god of wealth.
- Tradition holds that on the seventh day of the new year, everyone become one year older.
- Red is considered a lucky color in China.
- The Chinese New Year is based upon a lunar calendar and the cycles of the moon which is why the date fluctuates every year.
Sun Neen Fai Lok!