The Chinese Lunar New Year has been observed for roughly 3,800 years and was not celebrated nationwide until the Han Dynasty. During the Shang dynasty, celebrants would give thanks for the good harvest, clothing, and food to the gods and the ancestors. Over the years, other traditions such as setting off fireworks and burning bamboo sticks to ward off bad luck and omens.

Join us in celebrating the Lunar New Year

This year, Asian Pacific American Student Services, or A/PASS, will be celebrating our Annual Lunar New Year Event, which fall on the year of the Rat: 

February 15, 2020
12:30 p.m. doors open
Campus Commons Main Lobby
First come, first serve. Light refreshments and dim sum will be provided.

In celebrating the Lunar New Year, there are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind. Here are a few do's:

  • Giving money and gifts with lucky numbers is common
  • Eating lucky foods, such as fish, which can represent an increase in prosperity, dumplings for wealth, and a glutinous rice for a higher raise or promotion in the work place.
  • Partaking in fireworks and firecrackers to scare away the bad luck
  • An additional thing to keep in mind is that the color red is considered very lucky, so that is why gifts of money is given in red envelopes.

Some don’ts to keep in mind for the new year are:

  • Sweeping the house New Year’s Day
  • Giving gifts with unlucky phrases or numbers
  • Having an accident, crying, or hospital visits.

For me personally, I have only celebrated Lunar New Year’s once, but I was pleasantly surprised by the customs and traditions. I really enjoyed being able to celebrate together by eating foods as a community. One aspect that I am really looking forward to is this year we will be celebrating the new year with a lion dance. In Chinese Lunar New Year, the dragon and the lion are traditional animals used in dances and festivities. Another aspect I love about the Lunar New Year is the belief of ringing in a new time with good fortune and well-wishing. Similar to celebrating New Year’s here in the United States and abroad, everyone has the chance for new opportunities and a chance to start with a clean slate.