By: Jinsong Tu
Lunar New Year is finally here and it has received more attention than ever before Also known as the Spring Festival, Lunar New Year is China’s most important holiday, beginning on the first day of the Lunar Calendar and spanning 15 days. Festivities are an essential part of Lunar New Year celebrations, and these typically span the entire duration of New Year. The 15th day, the Lantern Festival, marks the end of the Spring Festival, a day when people normally eat sticky rice dumplings.
This year, Lunar New Year takes place on January 27 and has been receiving a lot of attention from the global community. On Facebook, a picture of Mark Zuckerberg making dumplings with his wife went viral in Chinese social media groups. On Google, the homepage has been changed in honor of Lunar New Year.
In China, Lunar New Year is a time of reunion and celebration. People from all over China take the time to reunite with their parents and relatives, similar to Thanksgiving here in the United States. Lunar New Year usually features a few distinct food dishes: dumplings, which represent ancient Chinese currency; rice cakes, whose Chinese pronunciation “nian gao” can also mean “prosperous year”; and fish, whose Chinese pronunciation can also mean “surplus.” Another unique feature of Lunar New Year is the giving of red envelopes filled with money, usually accompanied by the greeting “Gung Hei Fat Choy” (or “Gong Xi Fa Cai” in Mandarin).