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Temple City High School


February 12, 2018

Students share New Year’s traditions


Many Asian cultures around the world will come together on Feb. 16 this year to celebrate Lunar New Year with family and food. This particular day is usually filled with vibrant colors from red and gold lanterns and parades with lion dancers, but varies from culture to culture.

Chinese New Year
For Chinese Buddhists, Lunar New Year is all about getting together with family, bringing happiness and wishing others success in the future.
Giving and receiving red envelopes filled with money represent good fortune and blessings. Dishes such as roasted pork symbolize strength and prosperity and dumplings formed into a gold coins symbolize wealth.
“I believe Lunar New Year gives recognition through the meaning of family,” Junior Brianna Chen said. “Traditionally, its a time for many to come together and give back to the ones they love with a big dinner.”

When preparing for Tết, Vietnamese and Vietnamese American families will clean their houses and decorate their homes with lanterns, apricot blossoms and Kumquat trees, which all stand for good fortune.
Lion dancing is also popular, where people impersonate a lion for luck during a parade or celebration.
“People spend the whole year working hard to save up money,” Senior Chau Lam said. “So when the day comes, we are able to eat well, dress up with new clothes and especially be able to spend time with family.”
Celebrants return to their homes to see their family and enjoy popular foods like Bánh Tét and Bánh Chưng, which are both rice cakes made with rice and mung beans.

Korean New Year
On the first day of Seollal, families eat soup filled with rice cakes, which represent a new start. A Charye ritual includes praying and bowing with a Charye table loaded with japchae glass noodles, Galbi Jjim beef stew and jeon pancakes with many stews and vegetables. These food preparations are made to honor their ancestors or loved ones who have passed. Korean and Korean Americans also wear custom dresses named Hanboks that have diverse colors.
Different family members drop by to send good fortune for the Lunar New Year and traditionally eat dinner with one another.
“My favorite memory of Lunar New Year was having a party at one of my church members homes,” Sophomore Jacob Lee said. “I really enjoy playing a traditional Korean game named Yut Nori, meaning Stick Play.”

About the Author

Jillian Rousseau



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