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Bringing in the Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year is coming this Sunday, February 10. According to Chinese astrology, this year is the year of the Snake. You can participate in lots of activities to celebrate this traditional festival. Here are a few:

Wear new clothes. Usually people wear new clothes to welcome the coming new year. If you were born in a previous year of Snake (they happen every 12 years) you’d better wear some clothes or accessories in red for the whole year if you want to have good fortune for the year.

Write and post spring couplets. People post hand-written spring couplets on each side of their front door. The spring couplets always include best wishes of the New Year in Chinese poetic style. Every year, my dad makes our own spring couplets and posts them at the New Year Eve.

Light fireworks. The old Chinese folklore goes that “year” was a horrible animal that killed people all the time. However, he was scared of the big, loud noise made by fireworks. In order to drive “year” away, people light fireworks at the beginning of each year to protect family members.Make (and eat) dumplings. This is the indispensable dish of the Chinese New Year. Usually, family members get together to make dumplings with different fillings, such as pork, lamb and vegetables.

Watch the Spring Festival Party. It’s the longest TV show in China, which starts at 8 p.m. and lasts until 1 a.m. the next day. It was only played by the biggest TV station, China Central Television (CCTV), but more and more local TV stations have begun to show it now. If you want to get the most recent and popular information about China, it might be the best way to learn.Locally, in Champaign, you can attend several celebratory activities to welcome the Chinese New Year, including:

  • Attend a New Year’s Party hosted by the Chinese American Association of Central Illinois (CAACI). You can get more information and buy tickets online
  • Eat at Golden Harbor, where they will serve special Chinese New Year Dishes from February 7 – 10.
  • Attend a performance by 500 students who will present Chinese singing and dancing for the year of Snake. The performance will be at the gym of Garden Hills Elementary School on February 12 at 6 p.m. Admission is free.

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