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Lunar New Year

Happy Lunar New Year! The year 2024 is the year of the dragon. This Lunar New Year began on February 10, which symbolizes power, wisdom and good fortune. 

Lunar New Year is the most important celebration of the year for East and Southeast Asians. This celebration lasts two-weeks with family and friend gatherings, feasting and firecrackers, and parades and praying. The Lunar New Year begins when the first full moon arrives and the Lunar calendar represents one of the 12 zodiac animals such as the dragon for this 2024 year. Every culture celebrates with different traditional foods that symbolizes prosperity, abundance, and togetherness. Elders will give out red envelopes with money to give to children.

Ms. Yen Ngo, Freshman English teacher, celebrates the Lunar New Year. Mrs. Ngo is Vietnamese and Chinese. 

“Lunar New Year, when I was in my childhood, Lunar New Year means family gathering, new clothes, visiting to elders and teachers, getting together to make special foods, and not being grumpy or mad,” said Ms. Ngo.

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Ms. Ngo honors the Lunar New Year with a reunions party with delicious dishes of her culture when she was in Vietnam. 

“I don’t take off work for the Lunar New Year because I come to work and dress up with áo dài. I teach my students about Lunar New Year and do activities. On weekends, I do get together with my family, eat special Lunar New Year foods and get red envelopes for lucky money,” said Ms. Ngo.

Work will still go on for Ms. Ngo, and she shares her culture to her students about Lunar New Year. Ms. Ngo honors the New Year by wearing an “áo dài.” An ao dai is a spirit of Vietnamese culture uniform for Vietnamese women, it is the art of the nation and elegant beauty, with a meaning of proper behavior. 

“I pray for peace, good health for my family and everybody. I pray for peace more than luck and prosperity,” said Mrs. Ngo.

Ashley Maung, senior, ethnicity is Burmese. 

“Lunar New Year is a time when I get to spend a lot of time with my family and I get to reconnect with my relatives. I also get to be closer to my family,” said Maung.

Maung spends her New Years with her family and gets along with her relatives. 

On Lunar New Year, Ashley Maung explains what she did on that day, “For Lunar New Year, I went out to eat at a buffet, I ate a lot, I also went to the beach, I sang karaoke with my grandma, and I got money,” said Maung.

“I go to a temple on Lunar New Year and I go there to pray for good fortune, for good health, for longer life, for more money, I pray for the world to be at peace, and for my friends and family to also have good fortune and money,” said Maung. 

On Lunar New Year, we know different regions across Asia celebrate Lunar New year in many ways; the color red, firecrackers, red paper decorations, lanterns, etc. This year is going to be the year of dragons and the element of wood.

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