Everyone in America knows that New Years Day is January 1st. However, this is not the only New Year. The Chinese or Lunar New Year is the most important traditional Chinese holiday. The Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar. Therefore, the date changes every year, between January 21st and February 20th. This year the Chinese New Year is Feb 3rd. We are switching from the year of the tiger to the year of the rabbit.
According to legend, the mythical beast called the Nien would come to the villages on the first day of the New Year and attack the villagers and their crops or livestock. The people finally realized that if they placed food in front of every house the Nien would not harm the people and only eat the food. Someone noticed that the Nien ran from a young girl while she was wearing red so the color red also became a way to ward off the Nien. The color became a major component to the tradition.
Throughout high school I worked for a family-owned Chinese restaurant and I learned a lot about their culture. All of us who worked there celebrated this holiday and helped them prepare for the event. We would decorate the store by covering everything with the color red. We would put out red candles and napkins as well. Traditionally, the elders of the family would give the young, unmarried members a red envelope. The envelopes traditionally contained money; which was exactly what I received. Although this year I am not celebrating the same way as I used to, and I probably won’t receive an envelope of cash, there is an event on campus that I am looking forward to attending.
This week, GCC will be having a celebration of the Chinese New Year on campus. The event will take place on February 8th in the student union room 104E from 9AM until 1:30 PM. This event is sponsored by multiple departments on campus and throughout the district. At the event there will be:
Martial Arts Demonstration
Free Chinese Lunch
Traditional Chinese Dancing
Arts and Crafts
Feng Shui for Love in 2011
Chinese Watercolor Bookmarks
Chinese Tarot Cards Reading
Chinese Items for the New Year
Everyone is invited and the event is free. Come celebrate a New Year in February! I look forward to seeing you all there!
If you need more information on the event or have any questions please contact Bel Winemiller at 623-845-3744 or firstname.lastname@example.org