We're grateful to our community member and school parent, Grace Chu for sharing with us the significance and celebrations of the Lunar New Year, specific to the Chinese world. Our best wishes to all families celebrating the Lunar New Year!
By Grace Chu, HWS School Parent
Lunar New Year, the most significant festival in the Chinese world, marks an annual moment of family reunion. Prior to the New Year, both adults and children busily shop for new clothes, gather ingredients, and clean and organize their homes, symbolizing the act of ushering in the new and bidding farewell to the old. Children engage in crafting window flowers, while adults grind ink and write couplets, with these auspicious phrases written on red paper and hung on doors to bring joy and blessings in the coming year.
On Lunar New Year's Eve, families come together to share a sumptuous reunion dinner. The table is adorned with a variety of dishes symbolizing good luck and abundance for the upcoming year. After the feast, children express well-wishes to elders, reciting auspicious phrases, and in return, elders distribute red envelopes containing money, symbolizing blessings and good fortune. As the clock strikes midnight, families welcome the New Year together.
On the first day of the Lunar New Year, families engage in "spring visits," visiting relatives and friends to exchange greetings and good wishes, often accompanied by the tradition of giving and receiving red envelopes. Some may also visit temples to pray for health and prosperity in the coming year. On the second day, it is customary to return to the mother's family, reuniting with relatives and enjoying festive gatherings. The celebrations continue until the fifth day before returning to work.
This festive moment is a time of joy, reunion, and blessings—a cultural celebration passed down through the ages. Wishing everyone a prosperous and joyous Dragon Year filled with peace and happiness.