Celebrating Dog Year


Olivia Zhang, Staff writer

One of the most important and traditional holiday in China is the New Year festival. Every year it comes with an animal that represent a new year, and every twelve years there is a reused animal. For 2018, it is the year of dog. In 2030, twelve years from now, it will be another dog year.

Chinese New Year lasts fifteen days from New Year’s day, which is different from year to year. The first and last day and New Year’s Eve are three important days which people celebrate most of the time.  On New Year’s Eve, people sit with their family and eat a big reunion dinner. That is the time when all family members gather together and wish each other good luck. Many people who work in other cities go back to their own hometowns to spend time with their family that haven’t seen for a long time. “During the Chinese New Year, I usually went back to my father’s hometown at the New Year Eve and ate dinner with my family. We watched a TV show together to celebrate the New Year together,” Tracy Li, sophomore, said. One of the traditional foods for the reunion dinner is fish. The meaning of having a fish as part of the dinner comes from chinese phrase “Nian Nian You Yu.” Having a fish on the table is traditionally thought to brings more happiness in the new coming year. There are pork, chicken, dumplings, vegetables, liquor, and different drinks on the table as well.

This year, the Chinese New Year day began on February 16th. On New Year’s day, children go to flower markets with their parents, and there are many things they can buy at flower markets. People can buy different kinds of flowers, antithetical couplets that stick on the door,  and different kinds of firecrackers. They stick window grilles which are red papers cut with different detailed patterns, with the word “ 福” written on the door, hoping for good fortune.

On New Year’s day, children wish their parents and elders in their family good luck. Adults give children red envelopes with money inside. “ I was excited to get them from my parents,” Li said. Today, social media plays a big role and red envelopes are sent to others by using an app called “Wechat”. People who live in other countries and people who don’t go back home for reasons can also send or get their red envelopes online. “As a student who lives abroad, I feel a little bit upset because I didn’t stay with my family and I wish my family have a great new Year,” Li said.  

Chinese New Year is an important cultural aspect of China, and it is becoming known by more populations. As people were celebrating this holiday, they were stepping into a new ambience.