Lunar New Year

Samantha Vargas, Staff Writer

Chinese New Year, the most important holiday in China, also known as Lunar New Year, falls on January 25, 2020. 2020 will be the year of the rat, representing renewal. 

Lunar New Year was originally a time to honor household and heavenly deities as well as ancestors. It was also a time to get family together for a feast. It’s tied to the Chinese Lunar calendar and is believed that Chinese New Year originated from the Shang Dynasty, when people would hold sacrificial ceremonies in honor of gods and ancestors.

Many families have their own way of celebrating their heritage and culture through this special holiday. 

After an interview with sophomore, Ivan Chen, he shared his family tradition for Chinese New Year, “Since my family, out of all my cousins, is the biggest family, I have cousins come over to my place and we eat a lot of food.”  He shared the most important foods for his family: meat, rice and moon cakes. 

Freshman, Tyler Wong, shared his family traditions, “I get money from my parents and 

grandparents. We give money to my cousins, go to a temple and light incense. We put it on a Budda statue.” Lighting incense at the temple honors his ancestors and tells his ancestors he loves them.

The Chinese zodiac goes back centuries. There is a legend of the Jade Emperor and the 12 zodiac animals. There are different versions of the legend; however, this is the most common: all existing animals were invited to participate in a race and cross the heavenly river. The first 12 animals to cross the river would become the zodiac animals. 

It is said the rat could not do it alone, he cheated to be the first to finish the race and cross the river. The next 11 animals; the ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig became the other zodiac animals. 

Chinese and Lunar New Year is especially important to particular asian countries including Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Mauritius. 

The Toyota Arena in Ontario will be hosting a celebration of Chinese/Lunar New Year with the Agua Caliente Clippers on January 25th 2020 from 12:30-3:30 p.m.