Alicia Tam, Staff Writer
Is there anything more satisfying than Lunar New Year? Firecrackers, dancing dragons, and most importantly NIAN GAO ( a.k.a really delicious cake!). But wait a sec—where did this great holiday come from?
The Lunar New Year Festival (also known as the Spring Festival) was originally held to honour household and divine gods and ancestors. It was also a time for family reunion. Specifically for the Chinese, the New Year period began during the middle of the twelfth month (December) and ran until the middle of the first month (January); this was during the waxing of the full moon. Before the holiday, rigorous cleaning of the house and everything else would get rid of the ‘’old’’ and ensure a favourable beginning for the New Year. Scrolls were also printed with lucky messages and firecrackers were set off to scare off the ‘’evil’’ spirits. Money was given by parents or elders to children for good luck.
However, the most important part of this festival was the feast. The night before, extended family would sit down and eat. A fish would be cooked but not be eaten, symbolizing abundance. The first five days, the family would eat long noodles, representing long life. On the fifteenth and final day, round dumplings were eaten, which represented perfection and the family unit.
In today’s era, the New Year gives people to opportunity to travel and return back to their family. Many also watch the annual televised variety show. Despite the waning traditional ideals, many are still wary of the zodiac, even going as far as waiting until a particular year to bear their children!
Speaking of the Lunar New Year, I think I’m going to make like a shepherd, eat some rice cakes, and get the flock out of here!
Happy New Year, everyone!