Lunar New Year at Amat

Bella Buccino

Natalia Covarrubias and Lauren Morales

Various Bishop Amat students celebrated the Lunar New Year this past couple of weeks.

This holiday is celebrated in China as well as other Asian countries such as South Korea and Vietnam. 

Lunar New Year is a celebration of the beginning of the new year on the lunisolar calendar, which is based on the cycles of the moon, as well as the coming of spring. 

In the astrological system on the lunar calendar, every year corresponds to one of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. 

This year Lunar New Year was celebrated on January 22 and 2023 is known for being the year of the rabbit, or in some cultures it is the year of the cat. 

In most Chinese cultures the rabbit symbolizes longevity, peace, and prosperity, therefore 2023 is seen to be a year of hope. 

In Vietnamese culture, 2023 is the year of the cat because it is the fourth animal in the calendar, taking the place of the rabbit. 

Many traditions are involved with Lunar New Year such as cleaning the house 10 days before to remove any bad luck before entering the new year. 

“We would start off by cleaning the house and after we are done cleaning the house we just prepare food.” Senior, Dominic Tran said about some of the traditions he and his family do to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

Tran further stated some of the other festivities that take place when he and his family celebrate saying, “we’ll have family members visit our house, including our grandparents,” he said, “we’ll light firecrackers and stuff.”

On New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day families will gather together for their own celebrations, including the exchange of red envelopes. 

“I spent the day with my extended family and received red envelopes.” Senior, Kyra Fan, said about what her and her family did for the Lunar New Year and the meaning of the red envelopes. 

“The envelopes symbolize good luck for the new year, ” said Fan. 

Students have been able to celebrate the new year both at home and at Amat, with the campus being decorated with Lunar New Year decor as well as the Chinese club celebrating with the club members and other faculty and staff.

All throughout campus there have been decorations on classrooms and throughout the hallways, such as streamers and posters, to participate in the celebration of the Lunar New Year. 

Culture is a very important aspect at Amat, which is why many of our students create opportunities to share their heritage and traditions through clubs. 

Bishop Amat’s Chinese club participated in celebrating Lunar New Year by inviting students, faculty and staff to gather together to eat, and learn more about the holiday that many families at Amat celebrate.

Ms. Wei, the moderator of the Chinese club at Bishop Amat, shared how people celebrate Lunar New Year. 

“We get together with the family just like how Americans and western countries celebrate their Christmas vacation,” said Ms. Wei. 

Ms. Wei further explained the importance of food and the effect that it has on Lunar New Year. 

“Before New Year’s day we will get together with family and friends to have dinner together,” said Ms. Wei, “People will have dumplings, fish, and chicken so the more food we have on the table that means we will have a better year next year.”

Sharing traditions around campus and learning more about them was a great way to start off the Lunar New Year.