Chinese New Year: The Year Of The Rabbit


Mira Kondrakunta

Happy Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is one of the biggest festivals celebrated in China and countries with a significant overseas Chinese population. This year, it was celebrated on Jan. 22, 2023 on Sunday. The date it is celebrated varies from year to year since it follows the Lunar calendar – it corresponds to the new moon in either late January or early February. It marks the start of new life and the season of plowing and sowing. CVMS is a diverse school – among the student body, many people celebrate Chinese New Year. We talked to some people who celebrate this auspicious celebration.

“It is a way for me to celebrate, and embrace my family and my culture, and it’s a way for me to share special time with my family in our ancient traditions.” Tianwen Gao (8) said. “It is a way for me to be proud to be Chinese.”

Many customs are celebrated during Chinese New Year – wearing the color red, eating traditional food, and cleaning the house. A really common tradition is giving and receiving hóngbāo, which are red envelopes containing money. They are given as a gift of gratitude or good luck and are usually bestowed on the younger generation. Long noodles are usually eaten as well because their length represents longevity and life.

“Traditions and customs my family and I celebrate are first, reuniting with family members, and especially the ones we haven’t seen in a long time. Then we like to all talk for hours and eat our different foods everyone brings.” Nova Wang (8) said. “The ones [foods] I mainly like are a Chinese noodles dish, běijīng kǎo yā (roasted Peking duck), and xiǎolóngbāo (steamed bun). After that, the adults give out the red envelopes.”

Chinese New Year can have varying levels of importance in people’s cultures and religions. Some people are very religious and will use Chinese New Year as a way to honor their culture. On the other hand, some people are less religious but celebrate Chinese New Year for the familial and communal aspects. 

“Yes! I love reuniting with family members and spending time with them. I love the different foods families bring every time, and I also love getting money!” Wang said.

People can have differing views on this auspicious celebration, as people do for most celebrations. There can be many reasons and motivations for celebrating this day.

“I think other people view it as a way to celebrate good fortune, and some children take advantage of the money,” Gao said.

“I think that people who celebrate Chinese New Years love the celebration. My family and friends always enjoy it, and my Chinese friends love talking about how much money they get.” Wang (8) said.

As mentioned earlier, Chinese New Year harbors many, many different traditions, with a very big focus on cuisine to celebrate the new year.

“I like to spend time with my family and enjoy the special moments where we can discuss our culture, and be ourselves. I also love the food, because I think that Chinese food is the best cuisine, and I can eat so much of it.” Gao said.

Chinese New Year is a very common tradition to celebrate, and it is accompanied by huge feasts and familial bonding. It places a big focus on good luck for the new year which holds parallel to celebrations in other cultures. Chinese New Year, no matter how it’s observed, is a wonderful expression of culture that any appreciate around the globe.