Happy Chinese New Year of Rat!
Lunar new year is widely celebrated among Asian Communities, including many countries: China, Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, and many more.
How does Bedford’s Chinese American Community Celebrate Lunar New Year?
We planned a New Year Gala next month with overwhelming participation from Bedford parents, kids, performers, and support from Bedford Schools. However, we have postponed the event in an abundance of caution, considering the potential risks arising from the latest coronavirus. The gala, which has been held in previous years, consists of performances from local citizens, children, and organizations. The evening finishes with a delicious potluck dinner of traditional and favorite foods. Our community wishes to contribute to the increasing diversity of Bedford and, most importantly, become an integral part of this wonderful community where we have chosen to raise our families.
Here are some interesting customs for this most celebrated holiday
In China, the Chinese New Year is popularly known as the Spring Festival. This is also the most important holiday for a family reunion.
Red is the most popular color of the festival. Red clothes, red lantern, red couplets, red envelopes, all celebrations, and good wishes.
People wish each other good luck. Setting off firecrackers and fireworks is an indispensable festivity and normally draws large crowds.
How did a Rat become the first zodiac sign in the Chinese zodiac cycle?
The most popular story is: there was a Jade Emperor in China many years ago, who asked the whole animal kingdom to participate in a race across a big river, the first 12 animals who are able to swim across the river will become the symbol of each year.
The rat in the group is small but had a good sense of direction. He teamed up with the OX who is a strong swimmer. A good pair, isn’t it!
They swam across the river first and rat jump off the back of OX and became the first animal in the zodiac year, and nice OX comes second. A winning team!
This is also a wonderful time to eat homemade foods, such as dumplings, sticky rice cake (nian gao), and longevity noodles. Some Chinese parents went to Lane and Davis school to teach our curious young students papercuts and dumpling-making. We are very glad that our young students all enjoyed those fun activities.
Happy New Year! 新年快乐 Xīnnián kuàilè!