Many cultures have a great way of celebrating the New Year. On a recent trip to San Jose, Ca. I had the pleasure to celebrate the Chinese "New Year" in 2020. The Chinese culture believes in health, wealth, and years of success. The Chinese "New Year" ranges from January 21st to February 20th. It's a day that the Chinese pray to their ancestors (The Gods) for a good planting and harvest season. The Chinese have a tradition of lighting fireworks on New Year's Eve. This was brought on a long time ago from a story about a monster named "Nian" that would come about every New Year's Eve. Many Chinese people would hide away until one day a brave guy came out and fought him off with fireworks! Now every year after the people would light fireworks to scare off any monsters and bad luck. The Chinese New Year is the longest holiday in their culture and can last up to fifth teen days. It's the busiest time of the year for Chinese culture. Most people go back home for the New Year to have dinner on New Year Eve with their families. Chinese culture can be very strict around the 5th of the New Year. Taking a nice hot shower is not allowed on New Year's Day and don't even think about sweeping the floors or taking out the trash before the 5th of Feb. This is just a way for you not to lose your good luck by washing it down the drain before you get it. One of my favorite traditions in Chinese culture is the exchange of red envelopes to children, family, and friends. This is to help transfer fortune from elders to kids, family, and friends. Many of my family members
and friends know I love the taste of wine and being in good company. I must say I enjoy the fact the Chinese drink wine specifically for the New Year and Spring Festival. They are very detailed about how you hold your wine glass, the order of toasts and etiquette rules are a must. Every year the Chinese will hang up red lanterns and strings of chili peppers. Red clothing is known to bring in good luck and start fresh for the New Year. To top it off the New Year ends with the lantern festival. It's a night of partying and freedom for everyone. It's also known as Valentine's Day in China. To be honest I was so excited to join the festival, and be a part of such a rich and meaningful culture. I went out and purchased myself a red "Cheongsam and Qipao". I encourage you to take a leap of faith and try celebrating with a different culture in the years to come!
Written by Shikoma M.