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Lunar New Year Potluck

Lunar New Year Potluck
Alana Son ’26

Lunar New Year has always been buried in the grounds. Hidden, silenced, and forgotten. Still, it is one of the largest holidays, celebrated by 1.5 billion people worldwide. 

2024 is the year of the Dragon, which symbolizes luck, strength, and good fortune. East and Southeast Asians follow the lunisolar calendar to welcome the arrival of spring and the beginning of the new year. Families celebrate the New Year in many ways like giving out red envelopes, deep cleaning to drive away any negative energy, and holding  big feasts. 

On February 8, the Asian Coalition hosted a potluck to bring the Lunar New Year to AFS. We wished to spread the culture and diversity of the New Year that wasn’t recognized. Students had plates full of food such as lo mein, spring rolls, mochi, and bao. Positive energy filled the room while students got to share and connect over the big meal. 

Being able to share the importance of our big holiday with so many people was truly a heartwarming experience as the beauty of celebrating Lunar New Year finally got the recognition it truly deserves.

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  • N

    Natalie KMar 3, 2024 at 7:01 pm

    I to celebrate a holiday that is commonly ignored. I celebrate the holiday called Pascha, which is also known as the “original easter”. The holiday is celebrated as the true eater all over Europe by Christians, but lately the date of the holiday ahs been changed to the commonly known holiday in America Easter. The holiday is slowly being disregarded, but I am glad that the community I live in still celebrates it. On Pascha, you eat the bread/cake called Paska, with eggs, blessed wine, and different kinds of salami. The holiday itself connects so many people, and it nice to get together and go to church. I hope more people recognize this holiday, and know that it is just as import as the easter they celebrate, because overall, we are all just celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

  • J

    Julia MaMar 2, 2024 at 8:12 pm

    The Spring Festival, which is also called “Chinese Lunar New Year”, is the origin of the Lunar New Year and the unique Lunar New Year for Chinese people. The Spring Festival has a long history, originated from the primitive belief and nature worship of early human beings, and evolved from the ancient times to pray for the beginning of the year.
    There are many folk customs that we often do during the Spring Festival, including sweeping dust, pasting Spring Festival couplets, pasting blessing characters upside down, giving New Year’s money, setting off fireworks, ancestral worship, staying up late on New Year’s Eve and watching Spring Festival Gala, which has the same significant meaning like Super Bowl for American, and so on. These activities mainly focus on worshiping ancestors and respecting the elderly, praying for thanksgiving, family reunion, cleaning up the old and bringing in the new, welcoming the new year and receiving good fortune, and praying for a good harvest. What’s more, on December 22, 2023, the 78th United Nations General Assembly designated the Spring Festival (Chinese Lunar New Year) as a United Nations holiday. Thus, People all over the world can celebrate the Spring Festival together now.
    Btw, the twelve zodiac animals are the twelve animals in China that match the year of a person’s birth, including rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. If you were born in 2005, you are the dog; if you were born in 2007, you are the pig; if you were born in 2008, you are the rat and so on.

  • I

    Isabella GanMar 2, 2024 at 7:22 pm

    We treated the Dragon Boat Festival as important as the Lunar New Year. It is on the 10th of May. The Dragon Boat Festival is one of the four major Chinese festivals like the Mid-autumn Festival and the Lunar New Year. In addition, many Asians celebrate this festival all over the world. Every family will get together to make rice dumplings(zongzi) and eat them at the Dragon Boat Festival, many people will organize a huge dragon boat race in the Yangtze River basin and Yuan, Hunan basin, people all over the country pay attention to and discuss the race. We celebrate this festival to sacrifice to the dragon ancestor, we also celebrate it to commemorate Qu Yuan and drive away disease. Another interesting thing is that the North and the South have different preferences for eating Zongzi. The Northerner likes sweet Zongzi and the Southerner likes salty Zongzi. I hope we get a chance to share it.

  • C

    ChristineMar 2, 2024 at 11:55 am

    Back in Myanmar, we have the Burmese new year, which takes place in the middle of April, called Thingyan. It is a Buddhist festival but all ethnicities and religions take part in the 4-5 day water festival. It is the biggest festival in Myanmar and it is similar to quite a few festivals from other Asian cultures. Usually, not a lot of people know what this festival is about or they don’t know about it at all.

    Around the time of Thingyan, everyone is extremely joyous and spends time with friends and family. It is celebrated by taking part in water fights or just simply sprinkling water on others to represent the washing away of one’s sins from the previous year. Just like Lunar new year, eating food is also a big part of this celebration.

  • L

    Lori LeiMar 1, 2024 at 1:38 pm

    Dragon Boat Festival is also an under appreciated holiday. Similar to Lunar New Year, majority of Southeast Asians gather with family to celebrate the event. One of the foods most well known to be eaten on this date is zongzi or rice dish. This practice originates from a famous legend and gathering with family on this day helps honor it. Another common activity is racing dragon boats. It might not be as popular overseas but is heavily practiced in Asia. I think awareness of this holiday will be good and can educate people more about the countries’ culture and legends.

  • D

    DerekMar 1, 2024 at 11:41 am

    I believe that easter is treated in a similar way to Lunar New Year. It is often forgotten and only certain people celebrate it. It is a holiday that many people skip over and ignore.

  • J

    JonasMar 1, 2024 at 11:35 am

    I believe that Hannukah is suppressed the same way as the Lunar New Year is. In December there is always Christmas music on the radio but never any Hannukah music. Christmas has a more cultural dominance than Hannukah and some people don’t know that much about Hannukah. However, there are efforts to raise awareness for Hannukah and to edu ate people on it.