Celebrating Lunar New Years


By Lily Tran, Opinion Editor

Lunar New Years is one of the biggest holidays in Asian communities across the world.
Asian immigrants celebrate with all sorts of festivities starting from wearing traditional dresses and eating specialty desserts accord- ing to their culture. So what is the Lunar New Year and why is it such a big deal?

It’s originally from China and it marked the beginning of the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends on the first full moon of the lunar calendar which is 15 days later The holiday brings families together and brings luck for the new year. I am Vietnamese myself and my family goes all out for the holiday. My mom buys tons of flowers and fruits to decorate the alter in my house to pay our respects to our elders.

In all Asian cultures, preparing for the holiday, houses are thoroughly cleaned to rid them of “huiqi,” or inauspicious breaths, which might have collected during the old year. According to history cleaning is also meant to appease the gods who would be coming down from heaven to make inspections

Each year is assigned a Zodiac animal, cycling through twelve animals every twelve years. The animals are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. This is the year of the rat.

During the holiday, spectators turn up to watch Lion dancing which is a form of entertainment and a long-standing tradition meant to scare away bad spirits and ghosts.

There are several teams in Houston and every Lunar New Year, each team will release a schedule so that Houstonians can come watch and support Houston of the Lion Dance teams include Hung Vuong, TCT, HQ, Duc Dinh, and many more. Junior Joanne Zhou looks forward to “spending time with her family and getting money!”

Actually, the significance of red envelopes is the red paper, not the money inside. Putting money in the red envelopes is to show happiness and blessings for anyone that receives it. In Richard Nguyen’s family Lunar New Year is “a big deal” and he doesn’t care for the money, “family is what’s important” to him.

Even though Asinah Cecil doesn’t celebrate Lunar New Years “it is a time for me to
self reflect on the past year and be thankful for what is to come in the new year. During
this time I get to enjoy my friends culture and experience the festivities such as lion/drag- on dancing, popping firecrackers, going to temples, etc. The lunar new year is a time for my friends and I to get closer to each other and our families.”

Lunar new year can be celebrated by anyone not just Asians as long as you do it respectfully and enjoy it!