Growing up as a Chinese American in Seattle, WA, my experience with Chinese New Year is very different than how it is celebrated in China. Here in America, my family does not celebrate with huge festivities like the ones they do in China. Instead, we just have a nice family dinner at home. All of my relatives are in China so it is always just my immediate family that I celebrate with. Since my brother and I are both in college and are very busy, we will just be going home for the day on January 31 to spend it with my mom. Something that I did this year that I have never done before was go watch the Chinese New Year show that was hosted by University of Washington’s CSSA. It was a show that was completely in Chinese that was very similar to the chun jie lian huan wan hui that we all know and love. When I went last night, it felt as if I were actually in China celebrating the New Year. Everyone in that room was just so excited and happy and it was an extremely fun night. Something that they did at this show was compile video messages from many student’s parents at home in China, it was such a touching video and type of thing that myself as well as many others were all in tears. Since this was an international student run program, all of the acts and performances were mostly students. I think that this was an extremely cool event because not everyone in America celebrates the Lunar New Year but the fact that all of these international students were able to gather and put on this amazing program is definitely something that greatly reflects the family aspect in Chinese New Year. I am really glad that my friends took me and it is definitely something that I would attend again next year!
Although I will be spending this Chinese New Year at home in America, I have celebrated Chinese New Year before in my hometown of Henan, Nanyang with all my relatives. It was definitely something that I will never forget, from firecrackers in the morning to yummy food all throughout the day; it is definitely something that I would do again. One of the things I look forward to the most is my grandmother’s cooking, particularly her baking. She always makes this delicious bread that goes well with anything she cooks as well as this other kind of bread that has a bunch of red bean inside. My grandpa always deep fries these chicken pieces and makes Coca-Cola chicken for me because he knows that it is one of my favorites. All of these delicious food items are things that I can only get at home in China; I haven’t been able to find them anywhere here in America. Even though Chinese New Year is a time filled with festivity, my favorite part is being able to see all of my family; my grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins. I only get to see them once every couple of years so every time that I see them, it is special. Next year, I will be going back home to China to celebrate the New Year and I can’t wait!
Chinese New Year comes with the Chinese Zodiac. The Chinese Zodiac consists of 12 animals and each year a different animal is featured. Chinese New Year 2014 is the Year of the Horse. There are certain characteristics of those who are born in the Year of the Horse. Horses are known to be adventurous and independent but can also be rash. They love being the center of attention and have a great desire for freedom, which leads many of them to act on whim.
My friends and I at CSSA’s chun jie lian huan wan hui! (I’m the one in the grey scarf)