The Chinese New Year

Suzanne Kaiser, Feature Repoter

When people hear, “New Year’s Day,” they tend to think of January 1st; however that is not the only one.
Too often is the Chinese New Year forgotten. It is quite the important holiday, especially in comparison to the ‘regular’ New Year. Unlike the standard January 1st holiday, the Chinese New Year is not all about bringing in a new year with the clinging wine glasses and getting the day off of work.
While both of the common and Chinese New Year marks the beginning of a new year, they take place at different times. The “standard” New Year happens at midnight on January 1st each and every year without fail. The Chinese New Year, however, begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice. This year the Chinese New Year takes place on February 19th.
Another difference between the two New Year celebrations would be that the Chinese New Year has an animal to represent each year. For example, last year was the year of the horse, this year is the year of the goat, or sheep, and next year will be the year of the monkey.
Although even at just a first glance, both New Years vary greatly, the major difference can be found in both of their traditions and background.
The Chinese New Year was first created with the full intentions of bringing together family along with friends for feasting purposes. Although it is still viewed as an opportunity to renew family ties and mend broken friendships, it has become more of just another day off of work. On that note, the Chinese New Year is not an actual federal holiday in China, and the United States, most Chinese businesses give their employees the first day off.
The Chinese New Year lasts around two weeks, fifteen days to be exact, as opposed to just one day. Among those days, there is a house tradition. Traditionally, the Chinese believed that it is vital to enter the New Year with a clean house and perfect hygiene. Still by tradition, people are not supposed to sweep their houses after the New Year has started because they will sweep away their good luck that they have just received.
The January 1st New Year is generally celebrated with fireworks and alcohol, while the Chinese New Year has more deeply rooted ways of celebration. For instance, there are street fairs, parades, and even dragon dances.
So many people are too focused on the “standard” New Year, and not the Chinese New Year. Some people think that it would actually be interesting to learn more about it. Senior, Olivia Glowacki, said, “My aunt had a Chinese teacher stay with her while she was teaching at New Prairie and she gave my sister and I little paper cut outs of Chinese symbols and key chains for the Chinese New Year. It was great to learn more about another culture and their traditions.”
Overall, the Chinese New Year should be just as celebrated as the one found on January 1st.

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