Lunar New Year

Written By: Vivienne Salas

Happy Year of the Tiger, CPM!

                For anyone who doesn’t know, Lunar New Year (also sometimes referred to as Chinese New Year) is a celebration that happens on the first full moon of the year.  Despite what many people think, Lunar New Year isn’t just celebrated by Chinese people.  Lots of Asian communities worldwide celebrate the holiday.  During the celebration, people will often light off fireworks, watch dragon and lion dances and hang up primarily red decorations.    

                A lot of this holiday is based off of legends, such as the one about an evil spirit called Nian.  Nian would eat human flesh on New Year’s Day but was scared of the color red.  People made loud noises (the fireworks) and hung up red decorations on their door so as to scare Nian away, and it worked!  To this day, people still hang up red and gold decorations all over, which is exactly what Hong Chi did.

                Hong Chi is the Mandarin teacher at Edmonds Woodway High School.  She said that every year the students learning Mandarin decorate EWHS’ front office and every year the parents really like it, so she got an idea to decorate the front office of CPM too.

                “For our language class we usually connect with culture,” Hong said. She went on to explain that she wanted to share specific aspects of the holiday with her class.  She has a party with them every year, putting up similar decorations and playing traditional games like Chinese chess, and she wanted to bring some of that to CPM.  She took some volunteers from her class and they put up decorations like paper lanterns, window stickies, and red papers with Chinese characters on them.

                She said she hopes that people who celebrate Lunar New Year can feel like they’ve been recognized, but really she just wants the decorations to make people happy.

“I just hope everybody can feel the joy.”

If you want to learn more about Lunar New Year, check out the EWHS Lunar New Year website