How does One Celebrate Chinese New Year?

This year is the year of the rabbit. He’s hopping into the new year! (

Sophia Chen, Managing Reporter

Unlike New Years, which follows the traditional calendar and starts on January 1st, Chinese New Year abides by the lunar calendar. This year, the holiday will begin on January 22nd and end on February 5th. Numerous other Asian countries like Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Mongolia, and more, also celebrate the Lunar New Year. Although Chinese New Year is primarily celebrated in China, it is more widespread there than it is here. Nevertheless, there is a modest community that also celebrates Chinese New Year here in Boise. 

During the emergence of the new year, Chinese people like to eat a lot of food that aligns with their culture. It’s considered customary to devour dumplings and chow down on glutinous rice balls. Glutinous rice balls, or sticky balls, are balls composed of glutinous rice flour, which often envelop a black sesame filling or a peanut-buttery filling. They are allegedly delicious. As well, many Chinese individuals treasure dumplings because they were considered a delicacy that they could only eat once- on Chinese New Year. Another great custom is the potluck party. Many Chinese family friends will meet up together and bring their best dishes and vibes. There is a sense of warmth and connectivity at these gatherings, but more importantly, there is always yummy food. 

The holiday emphasizes the act of bringing good luck into the new year. You will see Chinese people decorating the insides of their houses with red lanterns, banners, and stickers because red is believed to bring with it good luck. Based on a legend, there was a monster that devoured people on New Years, but it feared the color red, so people fended off the monster with red decor. One of the most awaited parts of the holiday is when parents disperse money-filled red envelopes to their children. Many people believe that the red envelopes expel bad luck and welcome fortune. Just to add a little more fortune, many people also set off fireworks. 

In our community, there is a large and intertwined Chinese population that celebrates the holiday in a couple of ways. Every year, there is a Chinese New Year show, where a bunch of kids from the local Chinese school get together and give a performance to all of their parents. The performances include traditional dances, skits, songs, and more. 

Another thing that most people probably have never heard of is the famous CCTV New Year’s Gala. It’s a professional, 4-hour show, with traditional acts, skits, dances, martial arts, and more. It is also packed with famous Chinese celebrities. With the show’s futuristic stage and the countless hours that go into making it, the show is interesting and well-put together. For many Chinese families, it’s mandatory to watch the show.

So to wrap it up, all you need to celebrate Chinese New Year is dumplings, sticky rice balls, red envelopes, other red stuff, and potluck parties. If you really want to get into the festivities, then make sure to watch the Chinese kids perform at Chinese school or watch the CCTV New Year’s Gala. There’s no doubt that you’ll accumulate lots of good fortune.